Us against the world

Us against the world

An article looks at the cultural reasons why a Connecticut Polish parish doesn’t believe their priest is guilty of sexually abusing a girl. To recap, the priest, visiting from Poland, was arrested on Christmas Eve and admitted to police that he had sex with a girl who had come to him for counseling after being sexually assaulted previously. Under Conn. law, that’s a no-no.

The parish, which has a lot of first- and second-generation Poles, has started a legal defense fund, the pastor publicly stated he though the girl was a “tramp” and might be in it for the money, and others in the parish have voiced doubts as well.

The article points out that many of these people grew up in Communist Poland, where you didn’t trust the police or the media, and the only iinstitution you could turn to was the Church, and especially the priest.

    Under communism, she said, Poles couldn’t always believe what they read in their newspapers or heard from officials. “The church is where you went to get your local news, where you went to find out what was happening in the world,” she said.

    With communist propaganda running rampant, Laczewski added, “they were used to being lied to and took things that came from government officials with more than a grain of salt. So there’s a lot of distrust, especially when you’re on the defensive with something as dear to you as the church or as the priest.”

So how do the people in the parish deal with it? Either by questioning the girl’s motives—“She’s 17. Why did she let him go so far?” asked one Polish woman in her 60s who did not want to be named. “Something’s not right [with the story].”—or by wishing it would all just go away—The pastor of Sacred Heart, the Rev. Paul Wysocki, has questioned the girl’s story and said “I just wish this episode would go away and we can get back to normal. ... This just upsets the apple cart.” So sorry to disrupt things, Father, but when a priest sexually assaults a girl—or just breaks his vow of celibacy and fornicates with a teenage girl—that’s a serious matter that has to be dealt with, not swept under the table. It’s that kind of thinking that had serial pedophile perverts assigned to parish after parish so they could commit spiritual murder against boy after boy.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli