Catholic Church wants to know if 12-year-old victim is gay and ‘enjoyed’ being abused by priest / LGBTQ Nation
A Catholic church in Poland wants a court to determine whether the victim of a priest’s alleged sexual abuse – who was a 12-year-old boy when it started – was gay and therefore took ‘enjoyment in the intimate relationship “.
The lawsuit was filed by Janusz Szymik against the Diocese of Bielsko-Żywiec. Szymik says he was abused by a priest, identified as “Jan W.” in court documents, for years starting in 1984, when he was an altar boy.
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A news site in Poland published parts of the church’s response to the lawsuit, which include a request for “evidence from an expert sexologist on the determination of the plaintiff’s sexual preferences, in particular the determination of sexual orientation sexuality of the applicant”.
The church also wants to be allowed to ask Szymik about him “showing pleasure in having an intimate relationship with Jan W.” and “reap the benefits [from it]including material benefits.
The church says it “denies that the relationship was based on bondage or incapacity; on the contrary: it was voluntary and based on mutual benefits,” according to a translation of the document by Notes from Poland.
The church’s internal court previously found Jan W. guilty of sexually abusing Szymik in 2017. The church banned Jan W. from priestly ministry and hearing confessions for five years. Szymik’s lawsuit seeks three million Polish zlotys ($755,000 US) in damages from the church.
In 2021, the Vatican sanctioned the Diocese of Bielsko-Żywiec for “negligence” in responding to alleged sexual abuse by Jan W. following a two-year investigation that found Szymik had twice spoken to leaders of the the church, but it still took years for the diocese to do anything about Jan W.
Polish commentator Tomasz Terlikowski said the church’s response blaming the victims shows a “pedophile pattern of thinking”. He called on the church to withdraw its response and apologize as it could cause “again harm to the victim”.