WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland announced plans on Tuesday to tighten sentences for child sex abuse, just days after the country’s politics were upended by a documentary on paedophilia in the Catholic Church, closely allied to the nationalist ruling Law and Justice party.
In just three days since it was posted on YouTube, more than 11 million people have viewed the documentary “Just Don’t Tell Anyone”. It shows Poles confronting priests they said abused them as children, and presents allegations that known paedophiles were shifted between parishes.
The documentary has led to a swift public outcry, with lawyers and journalists calling for the police to launch criminal investigations.
The issue has erupted in the run-up to a European parliamentary election in which issues of sexuality and religion have played a prominent role. Law and Justice (PiS) portrays the Catholic faith as a key element of national identity. Liberals argue that the Church has come to wield too much power.