"For many believers, especially for young people who are sincerely looking for God, sexual scandals involving clergy are becoming a hard test of faith and a reason for great scandal," they said.
"The Church in Poland wants to be increasingly effective so that the safety of children and young people, according to the will of the Lord, will become a priority for all communities and families," they added.
The bishops said they have begun collecting data on sexual abuse of minors by clerics in Poland, and said that such an act is "an extremely grave sin."
"We ask God, the victims of abuse, their families and the Church community for forgiveness for all the harm done to children and young people and their relatives by clerics, consecrated persons and lay workers in the Church. We ask the Lord to give us light, strength, and courage to resolutely combat the moral and spiritual corruption that is the main source of sexual abuse against minors. We ask the Lord to make our efforts to create an open and child-friendly environment in the Church effective."
They said they have acted for many years to eliminate such crimes from among the clergy: "Any sign of possible criminal acts leads to a preliminary investigation, and if the probability is confirmed, the Holy See and the prosecutor's office are informed. We ask those who have been harmed by the clergy to report the damage suffered to ecclesiastical superiors and to the appropriate state authorities."
The bishops noted that each dioceses has a delegate to receive reports of abuse, who will "help the victim to get psychological, legal, and pastoral support" so as "to help the victims to take the steps necessary to overcome the consequences of the damage suffered."