Dominicans from Wrocław apologize for the abuses that took place in their academic ministry 20 years ago.
“We turn to you with great pain and shame. We stand before you in the truth, which, despite the passage of years, is revealing its terrifying face more and more clearly, ”they wrote on Sunday, declaring at the same time a full explanation of the matter.
“Although the Wroclaw case does not concern pedophilia, I would like to inform you that in the coming weeks we will announce a request in all Dominican churches to report cases of sexual abuse committed by Dominicans against minors” – announced Father Paweł Kozacki, provincial of Polish Dominicans. He added that they would be examined by a commission composed of lay people independent of the order.
In the published statement, the brothers of the Convent of St. Wojciech in Wrocław, they write that in the years 1996-2000, as part of the pastoral ministry in Wrocław, an intense mechanism resembled the functioning of a religious sect.
“The testimonies of the aggrieved parties – adults at that time – convince us today that the priest of that time, under the guise of piety, caused great harm to the faithful, using physical, mental, spiritual and even sexual violence. The history of these abuses seems distant, but it comes to us vividly in the victims of victims who have suffered for years without feeling sufficiently heard and understood, ‘the statement reads.
In it, the monks admit that “the more facts they learn, the clearer it also becomes that the help provided to those affected at that time was not adequate to the extent of the harm and not everything was done by the Order to relieve them and restore their sense of justice.”
“Although none of us was the perpetrator or witness of that evil, we – as Dominicans from Wrocław – are aware of our responsibility for this history and we sympathize with those who were hurt in this place. We want to certify that the victims are the victims and the perpetrator is the perpetrator, ”they emphasize.
As they assure, they would like to find out “whether the events from twenty years ago are the only dark page in the post-war history of the Dominican ministry in Wrocław.” They encourage people who – at any time – have suffered harm at the hands of Wrocław Dominicans, to report it in person, by phone or by e-mail.
They announce that they will submit all reports to the competent authorities: the Provincial and – if necessary – law enforcement agencies. “We apologize for any evil from the heart. We are filled with pain to know how difficult it is to make good the wrong we have done. All the more, we want to learn about the mechanisms that prevented the community from seeing the dramas taking place close to it. This will help us avoid evil in the future, ”they write in the press release.
The case was referred to by the provincial of Polish Dominicans, father Paweł Kozacki, who emphasized in a statement that he “supports the actions of his brothers from Wrocław aimed at getting to know the dark pages of Dominican history, redressing the harm and compensation for the injured, and learning about the mechanisms of the indicated drama, which will help draw consequences for the guilty and avoid evil in the future ”.