Karol Józef Wojtyła, Pope John Paul II, the subject of unlimited fawning praise and glorification, covered up child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church as a cardinal in Poland–a fact long-suspected and finally demonstrated through newly-released Communist-era police records and leaked Church documents. He protected priests who abused children, recommended them for new postings, and "spoke" to victims who might have pursued legal action.
One of Gutowski's sources said on condition of anonymity that he had personally told Wojtyla about acts of paedophilia concerning one priest in 1973.
"Wojtyla first wanted to make sure it wasn't a bluff," the source said."He asked it not be reported anywhere — he said he would deal with it." The then-cardinal had explicitly requested the alleged affair be kept strictly under wraps, he added.
Thomas Doyle, an American former Catholic priest, canon law scholar, and the author of one of the first reports of Catholic clergy abuse in the United States, said Gutowski's investigation was groundbreaking. It showed that John Paul II knew this problem existed even before he became pope, he argued.
The Polish church's refusal to release records from the era made it broadly obvious what had gone on, but the level of Wojtyła's personal complicity and criminality was never defined until now.