Book claims victims of clerical abuse are afraid to speak out


Polish victims of clerical abuse live in a climate of fear and are afraid to speak out against their maltreatment, a new book has claimed.

The book, Be Afraid: Victims of Paedophilia by the Catholic Church, examines 27 cases of alleged abuse and accuses Catholic bishops of ignoring abuse allegations.

Warsaw-based Dutch journalist Ekke Overbeek said Polish abuse victims were afraid of going public because of the continued prominent place the Catholic church occupies in Polish life. Slowly the issue is being addressed in the Polish media.

Overbeek said it took a “lot of patience” to convince his interviewees to speak out. “You have to have a lot of courage to talk about it, especially in small towns. I saw for myself how two victims were treated. It was not pleasant.”

Polish bishops hit back at Overbeek’s book, saying it was “like Swiss cheese: full of holes”.