The Diocese of Kalisz must pay the sacrifice of a pedophile priest

The District Court of Kalisz decided that the Diocese of Kalisz should pay 300 thousand. PLN to Bartłomiej Pankowiak, who was abused as a child by the father. Arkadiusz H. from Pleszew.

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Jacob and Bartomij Bankoviak filed a civil action against the Diocese of Kalisz for compensation for the father. Arkadiusz H. from Pleszew. Jacob formally withdrawn his claims. Bartomeg fought for half a million zlotys.

The District Court of Kalisz, in a ruling issued on Monday, ordered the Diocese of Kalisz to pay the sum of 300,000 PLN to Prosecutor Bartomeg Pankowiak. PLN with legal interest. The verdict is not final.

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In justifying the sentence, Judge Arleta Koneczna confirmed that “Prosecutors are a forerunner in the field of discovering bad cards in the Polish institutional church in order to reform it and systematically organize the issue of child sexual abuse within it”.

“By telling their story and having their faces shown by prosecutors, many victims have gained the courage and strength to expose their mistakes,” she added. – Jacob and Bartomij Bankoviak will forever be synonymous with the struggle for their own dignity and the dignity of others, as well as the initiators of systemic changes within the hierarchical church. She emphasized that their specific activities were not aimed at fighting the Catholic Church, but for the sake of the Church – as a believing community, maintaining cleanliness and ensuring the safety of its young members.

The case of Jacob and Bartomiej Bankoviak received media attention after the screening of the film by the Sikelski brothers titled “Hide-and-seek”, broadcast in May 2020. The document presented the history of the sexual abuse of boys by Reverend Arkadiusz H. of the Diocese of Kalisz in the years 1999-2000.

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permanent effects of damage

In justifying the ruling, the judge noted that Arkadiusz H., “under the authority of the Bishop of Kalisz, who presides over the diocese, a territorially and structurally separate space of the Catholic Church, having legal personality,” is acting against the minor plaintiffs. – It happened when Jacob Bankoviak was 13 years old, and Bartomeg Bankoviak was 10 years old. “There are a lot of verbs spread over time, so we’re dealing with an ongoing crime,” she added.

The judge noted that the priest’s behavior left a permanent imprint on the psyche of the brothers, who for many years could not tell anyone about their childhood experiences and traumas.

– Both brothers, who were abused by a priest whose condition was diagnosed years later, with sexual orientation and personality disorder, did not know for a long time about their mutual mischief. They revealed it many years later, first in their immediate family circle, and then co-produced by Tomasz and Marek Sekielski. She emphasized that the images conveyed to the public are the cause of the public debate about protecting children in the church from sexual abuse.

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The double responsibility of the clergy

Referring to the issue of the responsibility of the diocese in the present case, the judge stated in his justification of the judgment that “at present there is no doubt that the responsibility of the diocese, as an ecclesiastical legal person, results from the judgment of Art. 430 of the Civil Code. It claims that “everyone entrusted, For his own account, by performing an activity to a person who, while carrying out that activity, is under his management and is obligated to follow his instructions, is responsible for the damage caused by that person’s error in performing the activity entrusted to him.”

She added that “the evidence collected in the criminal case shows that the priest’s superiors may have known his pathological tendencies, hence the frequent changes in the place of his priestly service (…) Edward Janick, Bishop of Calis, was punished by the decision of the Holy See after the broadcast of the two brothers’ film Sikelsky”.

The sexual crime of the clergy is a controversial phenomenon in society, where the church is associated with highly developed moral and ethical standards. Until recently, it was widely believed that the clergy were excluded from secular responsibility. Analysis of the literature clearly shows that the punishment incurred by a cleric in one legal system does not replace or replace the punishment imposed in another. Rather, it can be said that the clergyman is subject to a double responsibility – the first under secular law and the second under canon law – stressed the judge.

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Arkadiusz H. was sentenced to 3 years in prison by the court of Belizeu and a 10-year ban on working with children and adolescents. According to the court, the accused committed the act intentionally and the motive behind his act was to satisfy his sexual desires.

The clergyman’s defense appealed. The District Court in Kalisz in October last year overturned the ruling and halted proceedings relating to the priest. According to the court, the case had a statute of limitations on May 20, 2015. Judge Marek Bagger said compensation does not mean acquittal. He asserted in the justification that the priest was the perpetrator of the alleged crimes because he had confessed, and thus the victims were left with civil procedures for redress.

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#pedophilia in the church


# District Court in Kalisz

#bartłomiej pankowiak

#ks. Arkadiusz h.


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