Statue of paedophile Polish priest Henryk Jankowski toppled

Statue of paedophile Polish priest Henryk Jankowski toppled February 22, 2019
Image via YouTube

AFTER it was pulled to the ground this week, activists responsible for the act put children’s underwear in one hand of the statue of Henryk Jankowski and a white lace altar-boy surplice in the other.

The priest, who died in 2010, faced growing allegations before his death that he had abused boys and girls.

The toppling of the statue came hours before the opening of the Vatican summit on child sexual abuse by priests.

Polish police are questioning three men after the statue of the Solidarity movement’s former chaplain was pulled down in the northern city of Gdansk. Those responsible reportedly wanted to highlight what they saw as the ongoing failure of Polish bishops and politicians to address clerical abuse in their country.

They accused the church of:

Systemic complicity in the evil done to people by Henryk Jankowski.

Local politicians looked away, they added, rather than address the priest’s “vile” acts against young people in the city.

A video posted to YouTube shows three men looping a rope around the neck of the statue. After yanking it down and severing the pedestal’s anchoring cables, the protesters put the children’s apparel in its hands,

In a manifesto posted online, the Gdansk activists said their actions were not directed against Polish Catholics but

Driven by concern for the common good and respect for human dignity and freedom.

Photo by Obibok Na Własny Koszt Wikipedia CC

Jankowski, above, became a prominent figure as chaplain to the Solidarity trade union, founded in Gdansk in 1980. His parish church became a meeting place for union activists in their battle with the communist government in Warsaw.

Through his close ties to Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, he hosted world leaders in his church, including US president George H W Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Walesa and other Solidarity figures distanced themselves from him over his growing nationalism and anti-Semitic views. He was removed from his position as parish priest in 2004 when abuse allegations surfaced.

Yesterday’s attack on the statue came a few months after red paint was poured over it when fresh media reports against the priest were published. A woman claimed the priest abused her and other children in the 1970s. A second woman said he touched her inappropriately when she was six.

Gdansk city hall said it would not return the monument to its public place and will instead put it into storage.

The committee that financed the Jankowski statue demanded it be reinstated , insisting that all charges against the priest were dropped during his lifetime.

Said a spokesman, Krzysztof Dosla:

What happened was based on slander, with no confirmation in reality, against someone dead for nine years.

In a statement on Thursday morning, ahead of the Vatican conference, the Polish Bishops’ Conference made no reference to the statue but promised “zero tolerance” on paedophilia in its ranks.

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  • Raging Bee

    Maybe we should start doing the same thing with Southern Terrorist — oops, I mean Confederate — monuments here…

  • Broga

    I wonder how many of the gathering of the RC hierarchy in Rome are paedophiles themselves? Or have protected paedophiles? As a very conservative estimate I guess 95%.

  • Lauren Lagergren

    Just because “charges were dropped” doesn’t mean nothing happened. The people who were molested by him will never forget.

  • If Catholics REALLY wanted to bring the church to task for its crimes against children and humanity, they should fill the pews of their churches, pray as hard as they can and WITHHOLD ANY MONEY TO THE CHURCH. Attend if this is your faith. Pray if this is your desire. But contribute nothing monetary to a church that perpetuates the abuse. Can you imagine the impact Catholics can make even if just here in the United States if not one thin dime went to the church for even one month. It would be better if tithes were withheld for months until the church takes meaningful action and cooperates with legal authorities to rid themselves once and for all of pedophile and abusive clergy.

  • towercam

    I’m sorry they didn’t GET the dirty priest while he was still alive.

  • Rennyrij

    I agree, Ms. Lagergren. So much attention is paid to the “forgiveness” aspect, by the “Father Confessor”, with little or no concern or interest shown for the victim of the crime. The message seems to be that “God” will forgive you for anything (well, nearly everything) as long as you confess and show remorse. But for some reason, that “holy” forgiveness seems to exclude any concern or interest in the victim, who may or may not be able to “arise like the Phoenix” after his/her victimization. The victim is just “collateral damage”, not to be worried about. The Pendulum, or the Balance Scales that statues of “Justice” hold, are better qualified to judge whether forgiveness is warranted. A swing of the pendulum may be an example of “Rights”, but the inevitable swing back to the other side shows the example of “Responsibility”. When the weight of one’s Right’s pulls one tray downward on the balance scales, it must be offset on the other tray with Responsibility, in order to bring it back to an even balance. Unexamined forgiveness stops the Swing of the Pendulum, mid-swing; and leaves the Scales of Justice out-of-balance.