Polish abuse victim questions bishops' stance

April 2, 2012

A prominent victim of clerical sex abuse has rejected the Polish church's stance that it is following a zero-tolerance policy toward priests and offers moral support for victims.

Ewa Orlowska, whose book about her ordeal, I Accused a Priest, was published in 2008, charged that the Church is holding "victims up to ridicule" while "behaving as if nothing has happened.

No one in the Church has made the slightest gesture.

No one has expressed regret, visited or written to me.

But now the bishops' conference head talks about surrounding victims of pedophilia with help and moral compensation," Orlowska said after the Polish bishops adopted guidelines – in line with Vatican instructions – for handling accusations.

Orlowska told Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza daily that her abuser, Msgr. Michal Moskwa, had been moved from his parish in Tylawa to another church 12 km away after his 2004 conviction for sexual abuse and two-year jail sentence.

At his new assignment, she said, Moskwa celebrates Mass and prepares children for first Communion.

He was defended in a pastoral letter by his ordinary, Archbishop Jozef Michalik of Przemysl, bishops' conference president.