“This is a time bomb that was always going to explode sooner or later.”
Further evidence that we are often our own worst enemy.
From The New York Times:
A committed Catholic who served from childhood as an altar boy, Karol dreamed as a teenager of entering the seminary in his hometown in northern Poland and becoming a priest.
“I had a deep faith and wanted to serve the church,” said Karol, now 26, recalling how he had discussed his hopes of one day becoming a bishop with his spiritual mentor, a priest at the Church of Divine Providence in the city of Bydgoszcz.
But that was before the priest raped him.
“The whole church has been poisoned,” Karol said in an interview, asking that his full name not be used by The New York Times.
His story, one of many that has stirred outrage over the years in the Polish news media, is part of a cascade of sexual abuse scandals that has plunged the Roman Catholic church in Poland into a deep crisis and eroded trust among young people. Polish youth are also wary of what many of them see as the church’s symbiotic relationship with the country’s deeply conservative governing party, Law and Justice.
A report issued last November by C.B.O.S., a government-funded polling agency, found that only 23 percent of Poles under 25 regularly go to church, a third the level of three decades ago. The Catholic Information Agency reported that only 20 percent of young people now disapprove of sex before marriage. The primate of the Polish church, Archbishop Wojciech Polak, deplored what he called a “devastating” decline in religious practice among younger Poles.
This summer, the seminary in Bydgoszcz that Karol had planned to attend shut down, bereft of new students.
One of Poland’s biggest pop stars, Dawid Podsiadlo, 29, announced last month that, though still a believer, he was formally leaving the church. “I have a problem with the institution,” he said, because of “more and more cases of pedophilia and its meddling in political and ideological matters.”
Andrzej Kobylinski, a professor at Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw and an outspoken critic of the church’s failure to grapple with sexual abuse, said in an interview that the “creeping secularization” of Poland had “turned into a gallop.” He added, “This is a time bomb that was always going to explode sooner or later.”
St. John Paul, pray for us!