The District Prosecutor’s Office in Pleszew refused to initiate an investigation into the bishop of Kalisz, Edward Janiak, who had known about the pedophile acts of his priests since 2016. It was explained that the behavior of Janiak stated in the notification “was not punished at the time of the incident”. Currently, concealing knowledge about sexual and pedophilic crimes is punishable by imprisonment of up to three years.
The bishop of Kalisz, Edward Janiak, became famous thanks to the film by brothers Tomasz and Marek Sekielski, which was broadcast in May. “Hide-and-seek” tells the story of three men who were molested in their childhood by priest Arkadiusz H. The film shows bishop Edward Janiak hiding the sexual crimes of his priests.
In June, the Vatican removed Janiak from running the Kalisz diocese. Currently, he is replaced by the metropolitan of Lodz, Archbishop Grzegorz Ryś.
The left wing notified the prosecutor’s office
Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus from the Left, after the broadcast of “Zabawy w chowania”, submitted a notification of suspicion of a crime committed by bishop Edward Janiak under Art. 240 of the Criminal Code.
§ 1. Who, having reliable information about the punishable preparation or attempting or committing a prohibited act specified in (…) 197 rape or coercion of sexual activity § 3 or 4, art. 198 sexual exploitation of the helplessness or insanity of another person, (…) does not immediately notify the body appointed to prosecute crimes, is punishable by imprisonment of up to 3 years.
Scheuring-Wielgus said in the notice she cited examples of “Bishop Janiak’s knowledge of priests who molested and abused children”. – (The prosecutor’s office) sent a refusal to initiate an investigation, saying that despite the fact that Bishop Janiak knew about the actions of his charges, his priests, he will not initiate any procedure in this connection, she explained.
Refusal to initiate an investigation
The District Prosecutor’s Office in Pleszew, responding to the notification of the Lewica MP, refused to initiate an investigation into the bishop’s case. The decision was made on July 27.
Maciej Meler, the spokesman of the District Prosecutor’s Office in Ostrów Wielkopolski, explaining such a decision, stated in a statement that “in the case of the suspicion of committing in March 2016 an act consisting in the failure to immediately notify the law enforcement authorities of the suspicion of committing a sexual crime to the detriment of a minor, it was stated that that the behavior which was the subject of the notification was not punished at the time of the incident. “
The prosecutor’s office recalled that only the amendment to the Criminal Code, in force since July 13, 2017, introduced the punishability of conduct consisting in not notifying the law enforcement authorities of committing a criminal act of a sexual nature to the detriment of a minor.
It was summarized that the event covered by the Left’s notification “took place in March 2016, so when the failure to notify about this type of crime was not punished”.
After the premiere of the film by the Sekielski brothers, the Kalisz curia wrote in a statement that “from the very beginning – bearing in mind the welfare of the victims who did not report to the curia, and seeing the need to clarify the matter – cooperation with the prosecutor’s office was undertaken, in accordance with the provisions of criminal law”. She emphasized that priest Arkadiusz H. was suspended by the bishop of Kalisz and suspended from his priestly service (ban on celebrating the sacraments and wearing a clergyman’s dress) for his conduct in the years 1994-2000.
Main photo source: PAP / Tytus Żmijewski