Washington D.C., Mar 8, 2023 / 15:30 pm
The Polish Bishops’ Conference says that “further archival research” is needed to fairly assess a new allegation, based on communist secret police records, that St. John Paul II covered up child sexual abuse by a priest while serving as the archbishop of Krakow, Poland, prior to becoming pope.
The allegation was included in a documentary broadcast March 6 on Polish television channel TVN24.
The same TV report also cited two other instances where St. John Paul II, then Archbishop Karol Wojtyla, allegedly relocated Father Eugeniusz Surgent and Father Jozef Loranc to new parishes despite being aware that they had been accused of sexually abusing minors. However, those allegations, first made by a Dutch journalist on Dec. 2 of last year, were quickly refuted later that month by a pair of investigative journalists, the Polish bishops noted in a statement released March 7.
The journalists, Tomasz Krzyżak and Piotr Litka, found that St. John Paul II did not cover up any abuse and consistently acted against such cases during his time as archbishop of Krakow from 1964 to 1978.