– I consider this film very important, because it shows the maturity of John Paul II in response to the crisis of sexual abuse of minors gripping the Church, as well as his honesty in dealing with these matters – says the father. Adam Shack SJ comments on the movie ‘The Glass House’.
the father. Schack, Child and Youth Protection Coordinator on behalf of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, stresses that the film shows the position of John Paul II, who has always been people-centered, about protecting their dignity and rights. . John Paul II was able to note the enormity of the evil that was taking place in the Church against the background of children’s inclinations, which was associated with the violation of the most basic rights and the dignity of the weakest, that is, children, adolescents or weak adults.
– Paulina Jozek’s film shows the activities of John Paul II to create a systematic response of the church to the issue of sexual abuse of minors, and these matters should be known to the public, says the father. Żak SJ.
An analysis of the history of the crisis of sexual abuse of minors in the church in the United States shows – according to the Jesuit – that it was not just a question of a certain percentage of sick individuals, but a structural crisis in the church related to the reversal of the hierarchy of values. It consists in the fact that the place of the man who was to be the “church path” was taken by the institution and its public image. the father. Schack asserts that John Paul II’s diagnosis revealed a profound crisis in the faith and the clergy’s (collective) understanding of the church. This was expressed by protecting the priesthood of the offenders at all costs, although their vocation was burnt and died.
It was shocking to John Paul II that the bishops did not comply with applicable law and covered up these crimes with sarcasm. According to Father Schack, John Paul II’s effort was in this direction to reverse course, because the Church acted as a political organ defending its own interests, not the people entrusted to it.
As the Jesuit emphasizes, Paulina Jozek’s film shows how John Paul II learned this problem, gradually learning about the scale of the crisis that occurred at the turn of the eighties and nineties, first in the United States, then in Ireland and other countries. In his first letter to American bishops on the subject in 1993, he explicitly commanded: “You must keep the law!” Therefore, he gave them an instrument in the form of an indult where he stressed certain provisions of canon law in order to have a definite effect. His diagnosis was that, first, the lack of law enforcement against criminals, the misconception of mercy, must be eliminated. As a result, the perpetrators are the privileged and not the aggrieved parties.
Furthermore, John Paul II recognized that part of the evil that hurts so many is the way church leaders act. He clearly said that “people need to know that in the priesthood and in religious life there is no place for those who harm the little ones.” Both parts of this sentence are important because, first, “the people should know” – that is, these matters must be dealt with in a transparent, not hidden way – and second, that there can be no tolerance in the Church for harm. Children and youth. This was the understanding of the principle of “zero tolerance” established by John Paul II.
the father. Schack recalls that in John Paul II’s following programmatic address to American cardinals in April 2002, two essential tasks of the Church were formulated in the face of this tragic situation. One says that “there is no place in the ranks of priests for such criminals,” and the other that “so much pain and suffering in the Church must follow the path of conversion.” It follows that John Paul II’s goal was not only to create an effective system for punishing offenders, but – despite the deep crisis – to renew the Church through openness to conversion, that is, to God’s grace and the path to holiness. .
– It is a positive streak for the purification and apostasy of the Church, born of the pain of crime, of pain inflicted on victims, minors or other helpless people – confirms the Father. student.
The Jesuit indicates that in the same speech John Paul II emphasized that the purification of the Church could not be done for reasons of propaganda. It is about the evangelical conversion, which consists in “a radical decision to turn away from sin and return to God, which reaches into the depths of the human soul and can bring about extraordinary change.”
John Paul II understood purification as a necessary and essential process from the point of view of the essence of the Church’s mission, both internally and externally. He was convinced that only the Purgatory Church, which deals so clearly and decisively with sexual abuse in its ranks, “will also help society understand and overcome the crisis,” asserts the father. student.
KAI / youth