Religion

Polish Archbishop Blames Clergy Child Sex Abuse On Porn, Same Sex Marriage And Children "Looking For Love"

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A top Catholic archbishop in Poland  faces intense scrutiny for the second time this month for comments that appeared to deflect blame from pedophile priests for molesting children.

Earlier in October, Archbishop Jozef Michalik gave an interview in which he said that children “looking for love” were partly responsible for incidents of clergy sex abuse.

“How many wounds are inflicted when parents divorce? We often hear that this inappropriate attitude, or abuse, manifests itself when a child is seeking love," said Michalik. "It clings, it searches. It gets lost itself and then draws another person into this."

The “inappropriate attitude” to which he was referring is sexual attraction to children. “It” refers to an abused child.

A spokesperson for the church attempted to do damage control, calling the comments “a slip of the tongue.”

Michalik (pictured) himself apologized, saying, "The context of my comment was as follows: a child is always innocent. But it can be hurt not only by priests but also by its own environment.”

But the apology did little to quell the revulsion against the archbishop’s remarks.

“This is disgusting, and is soaked in a sick logic, when a victim is responsible for a crime," said one person posting on an anti-abuse Facebook page, in a comment that typified the country’s response to the archbishop’s sentiments.

Since 2001, 27 Polish priests have faced child sex abuse charges, but most of those cases ended without jail time for the priests.

Michalik’s latest remarks, reported in The Telegraph newspaper last week,  appeared to place the blame for sex abuse by priests on pornography and same sex marriage.

The archbishop in an interview criticized “the ideology of gender that raises legitimate concerns, because it goes against the laws of nature, promotes marriage between persons of the same sex and fights for the right to legalize adoption of children by these couples.”

The archbishop’s remarks have provoked criticism even from inside the church.

“He has a problem with accepting the fact that the issue of pedophilia in the Church may have something to do with priests and the structure of the Church,” said Father Jacek Prusak, a Jesuit priest.

SOURCES: Reuters, Associated Press, Daily Telegraph

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