WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's Catholic Church says it will not pay compensation to victims of priests who sexually abused children.
The Rev. Jozef Kloch said in comments aired by Polish Radio 1 on Friday that the responsibility for compensation lies with the perpetrator. That differs from the approach in countries like the United States, Canada or Australia, where the church has paid settlements.
Kloch was reacting to a 200,000 zlotys ($64,000) claim made by a 25-year-old victim against his parish and local church authorities after they failed to reach a settlement. The claim could now be taken to court, in what would be Poland's first such case.
"The Church will not pay compensation to victims of pedophile priests," Koch said. "The wrongdoer should do it." Earlier, secretary of the Episcopate, Bishop Wojciech Polak apologized to the victims and offered psychological and therapeutic support.
Some 27 priests have been convicted in Poland of abusing children. Polish prosecutors are also cooperating with the authorities in the Dominican Republic who are investigating allegations that two Polish priests there, including a Vatican envoy, abused boys.