"He also obliged each bishop and superior religious to report to this Congregation all such crimes, if their probability was confirmed in the preliminary investigation provided for by the Code of Canon Law. Further proceedings were continued under the control of the Apostolic Court."
In April 2002, following the Boston Globe report, John Paul II summoned the cardinals of the United States to the Vatican to speak about the abuse crisis.
It is thanks to the clear rules of John Paul II that the degree of abuse in the U.S. has lowered, Dziwisz said.
Dziwisz also spoke about John Paul II's part in the case of Fr. Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ, who was found to have lived a double life, sexually abused seminarians, and fathered children. Initial accusations against Maciel emerged in the late 1990s.
In 2006 the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, with the approval of Benedict XVI, removed Maciel from public ministry and ordered him to spend the rest of his life in prayer and penance. The congregation decided not to subject him to a canonical process because of his advanced age and Maciel died in 2008.
According to Dziwisz, recent claims that John Paul II "was covering up" the criminal activities of Maciel are contradicted by the facts.
He noted that the accusations against Maciel were already being investigated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in December 2004, under John Paul II's pontificate, and that at that time, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, who was the Promoter of Justice, was sent to Mexico and the United States, alongside another lawyer, to conduct the investigation.
"The decision to initiate this investigation could only be taken with the knowledge and approval of John Paul II," the cardinal stated, adding that these processes continued also through the sede vacante and until the conclusion of the process in 2006 with Pope Benedict XVI's verdict.
To this day, John Paul II's actions serve "as a reference point for all those committed to fighting against the crime of sexual abuse of minors by clerics, Dziwisz stated.
"This has been confirmed by the summit in the Vatican convened by Pope Francis, who in the fight against this problem is following with determination the path of his predecessors."