The late Polish pope John Paul II knew about child abuse in Poland‘s Catholic church years before becoming pontiff and helped cover it up, a new report has claimed.
Michal Gutowski, the investigator behind the report for private broadcaster TVN, said that Karol Wojtyla, as he then was, knew of cases of paedophile priests within the church while still a cardinal in Krakow.
He transferred the priests to other dioceses – one as far away as Austria – to ensure no scandal ensued, the investigator said.
Wojtyla, who was pope for 27 years from 1978 until his death in 2005, wrote a letter of recommendation for a priest accused of abuse to Vienna cardinal Franz Koenig, without mentioning the accusations, says Gutowski.
During his investigation, Gutowski says he spoke to victims of paedophile priests, their families and former church diocese employees.