Polish activists pull down priest’s statue in abuse protest

WARSAW: Activists in Poland toppled a statue of a distinguished Solidarity-era priest early on Thursday amid allegations that he sexually abused minors, a protest in opposition to what they referred to as a failure by the Catholic Church and society to resolve the issue of clergy intercourse abuse.

The protest got here solely hours earlier than Pope Francis gathered Catholic leaders from around the globe for a landmark summit on the Vatican to deal with the church’s intercourse abuse disaster.

Video footage confirmed three males attaching a rope across the statue of the late Monsignor Henryk Jankowski within the northern metropolis of Gdansk after which pulling it all the way down to the bottom in the dead of night. The activists then positioned kids’s underwear in one of many statue’s arms and a small white lace church vestment worn by altar boys on the statue’s physique to symbolise the struggling of the younger folks he allegedly molested.

It was a hanging act in a rustic the place greater than 90 per cent of the inhabitants identifies as Roman Catholic and the place the church nonetheless enjoys vital authority in public life. That place seems to be altering, nonetheless, as secularisation grows together with a growing economic system.

Church leaders have additionally alienated some Poles with their shut ties to the conservative ruling celebration, which has been accused of eroding Poland’s democratic tradition and establishments.

Police detained the three males and opened an investigation into whether or not they dedicated the crime of “insulting a monument.” Jankowski, who died in 2010, rose to prominence within the 1980s by means of his assist for the pro-democracy Solidarity motion and its chief, Lech Walesa, of their battle in opposition to Poland’s communist regime. World leaders together with President George H.W. Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visited his St. Brygida church in recognition of his anti-communist exercise.

 

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