The archbishop noted that he personally had reported a fellow bishop, Edward Janiak of Kalisz, to the Vatican under the law promulgated by the pope in June 2019 in the motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi.
He said that he had taken the step after viewing the documentary film Hide and Seek, by brothers Marek and Tomasz Sekielski. In the follow-up to Tell No One, they alleged that Janiak had failed to take action against a priest accused of abuse. The bishop has denied the allegations.
"After watching the film, I could not remain silent or stay inactive in the face of the presented facts," Polak said.
Last month Pope Francis appointed an apostolic administrator to take charge of Janiak's diocese while an investigation into the bishop's actions is carried out.
"Reporting does not resolve the guilt and gives Bishop Edward Janiak a real chance to present arguments in his defense in the context of a canonical process. Judging the case is the exclusive competence of the Holy See," the Polish Primate explained.
Polak hailed the creation last year of the St. Joseph Foundation, which seeks to support abuse survivors and to safeguard minors within the Church in Poland.
"The establishment of the Foundation is an expression of solidarity of the Church in Poland with the victims," he said.
The archbishop acknowledged that, despite progress in combating abuse, confidence in Church authorities had been shaken by the crisis. A survey in January, conducted by the research institute IBRiS, found that trust in the Church had fallen by 13 percentage points compared to 2017, down to 39.5%.
"We must honestly admit that despite the actions taken in Poland, we need to work constantly on changing our mentality. Still in this area there's a lot to do," he said.
"We must also honestly admit that the law in force in the Church is not respected everywhere, and not all victims receive the help they need. Ensuring the safety of children and young people in the Church is still a challenge for us."