The accused Polish priest

The accused Polish priest

It seems support is growing for the Polish priest who admitted to having sex with a teen girl he was supposed to be counseling. There’s even a a href=””>professional-looking web site (in Polish).

Fine, people have questions about the case. Some have wondered if the Polish-speaking priest understood what the police were asking him when he allegedly made his confession. But it is unseemly to me that the people have so readily dismissed the case against him. It’s one thing to have doubts about the charges against him, but how can they be so sure? They’re organizing dances to support him! They’ve raised tens of thousands of dollars for his legal defense.

Meanwhile a priest has come from Poland bearing a letter from an elementary school where the accused priest once served.

    The letter, also posted on the site, describes Kramek as an able, trusted and respected priest.

    “Father Kramek always had fair partnerships with his students, but kept an appropriate distance,” the letter reads. “There never occurred a conflict that he was a part of. There were no complaints from students, parents or teachers. … He never refused to help anyone, even in the most difficult of situations.”

So what? There’s a big difference between molesting a 10-year-old and having sex with a 16-year-old, at least psychologically, if not morally. This is what happens when you confuse pedophilia and ephebophilia. An attraction to a 16-year-old girl does not mean you will abuse pre-pubescent children. And perhaps he felt safe because he was so far from home and he let his inhibitions down.

I’m not saying that this is what happened or that the allegations are true. It’s just that such blind support for the man (and none for the victim) is unseemly and could backfire mightily if he is proven guilty. And it could blind you to real abuse, just the same way that so many people buried their heads in the sand years ago, claiming that Fr. Geoghan or Fr. Shanley would never abuse a child! They’re priests, after all!

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli