Media Coverage of the Paedophilia Issues in the Catholic Church in Poland Cover Image

Medialny przekaz problematyki pedofilii w Kościele katolickim w Polsce
Media Coverage of the Paedophilia Issues in the Catholic Church in Poland

Author(s): Józef Kloch, Monika Przybysz
Subject(s): Christian Theology and Religion, Social Sciences, Media studies, Communication studies, Theology and Religion, Theory of Communication
Published by: Wyższe Seminarium Misyjne Księży Sercanów
Keywords: pedofilia;media;Church;

Summary/Abstract: What communication standards does the Church in Poland strive to achieve to counter the paedophilia? In what way (in terms of ethics) did journalists report on the basic topics related to the problem of paedophilia? These are the main issues of this analysis, concerning the mistakes of Church institutions and people representing the Church, as well as the journalists’ mishandling of the problem of paedophilia. The superiors of Church institutions in Poland did not manage to avoid the repetitive errors of the USA, Ireland or Germany prelates, such as transferring priests, who had suspicious or even reprehensible relationships with children, from one parish to another. Sadly, these transfers went usually hand in hand with ignoring the warning signals in this area. Time and time again the problem of ill-considered statements concerning paedophilia occurs among the clergy, typically ranking high in the hierarchy. Another blameworthy behaviour is the lack of knowledge about the paedophilia itself and the passivity of decision-makers towards the clergymen who behave improperly in relation to children. The journalists also criticize the lack of necessary pastoral aid, as well as the lack of thinking in the categories of making amends or offering compensation to the victims – first of all among the culprits and, to some extent, among their superiors. The fundamental misdeed of journalists is being silent about the heart of the problem. And it is all about protecting the children and young people against the paedophiles and helping those who have been hurt. Journalists most often publicize the cases of paedophilia in the Church in Poland in an excessive and disproportionate way, as if this was the problem of only one social group. They usually stay silent about the activity of the Church in the area of paedophilia prevention. And while describing the cases of paedophilia among the clergy, journalists quite often do not remember about the fundamental principles of journalist ethics (the case of the author of the “Wprost” weekly article). Therefore, both sides should notice their own mistakes in handling the paedophilia problem in Poland; they should also cooperate in educating the society about the evil of paedophilia. The Church and the media should also sensitize the public to behaviours indicative of paedophilia among concrete persons.

  • Issue Year: 27/2014
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 93-112
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: English, Polish