Source: The New York Times
Following sexual-abuse scandals in the United States, Great Britain, Ireland and Australia, it appears the Roman Catholic Church may be on the verge of a similar catastrophe in Poland.
But whereas the blowback from previous scandals has been largely confined to the church itself, this latest crisis could take down the country’s right-wing government as well — and undermine the tight grip the church holds over Polish society.
With just weeks to go before the European parliamentary elections — which in Poland will serve as a kind of opening act for its own parliamentary elections this fall — the country has been gripped by a shocking documentary exposing widespread child sexual abuse by Polish priests, and the subsequent cover up by the church.
Released on YouTube, “Tell No One,” by well-known journalist Tomasz Sekielski, was viewed 10 million times in its first two days of release.
The influence of the Catholic Church in Poland is immense — almost 40% of the population attends Mass weekly. And it’s politically connected, particularly on the right: The church enjoys significant financial privileges from the state, while the ruling Law and Justice party benefits from the support of Catholic media outlets and church sermons.
The strength of the church is the strength of the Law and Justice party, and a crisis in the church is a crisis for Law and Justice.
Watch “Tell No One” (with English subtitles) above and read the story at The New York Times.
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