"In the Catholic Church, every believer can present his case to the Holy Father as the Supreme Pastor. The Holy See, on the other hand, has the opportunity to evaluate and verify reported cases," Polish bishops' spokesman Father Pawel Rytel-Andianik told CNA.
"According to the Church and civil law, there is the principle of presumed innocence of a person until the contrary is proven," he said, adding that various dioceses in Poland were already claiming misinformation in the report.
Recently, the Polish bishops' conference took additional steps to further develop prevention programs and meet with victims.
In August 2018, diocesan bishops in Poland decided to develop a prevention program for every Polish diocese against crimes of sexual abuse of children.
A Child Protection Center was established in 2014 to provide "training and educational activities in the psychological, pedagogical and spiritual fields related to the sexual abuse of minors and the preparation and development of prevention programs and examples of good practice for various pastoral, formative and educational environments in order to help them create safe environments for children and adolescents."
Have No Fear was founded in 2013 and became affiliated with the international network Ending Clergy Abuse in 2016. The group updates a "Map of Clerical Abuse in Poland" online, which maps out 384 victims, 85 convicted perpetrators, and 95 instances of abuse reported by victims.
In the past year, the organization delivered a letter to Archbishop Wojciech Polak of Gniezo requesting the establishment of an independent committee to analyze the scale of clerical sex abuse in Poland, abolish the statute of limitations for such offenses, hold accountable perpetrators and their superiors who conceal abuse, and provide victims of abuse with full access to the files of their canon law proceedings.
"We look in particular to the situation in Chile, where the pope dismissed bishops. We think that the situation in Poland is quite similar to the situation in Chile, and the time to act is now," Frankowska told CNA.
Last May all of the bishops of Chile presented Pope Francis with written resignations following a CDF investigation into episcopal cover-up of the sexual abuse of Father Fernando Karadima.
"We believe that we are still years behind other jurisdictions," she continued. "For a long time victims were ostracized or were afraid to speak out. Things are slowly changing."
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.