May 30, 2023


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The protagonist of Sekielski's film about children's confession bans.  "My executioner singled me out in confession"

The protagonist of Sekielski’s film about children’s confession bans. “My executioner singled me out in confession”

At the end of October, a debate began in Poland about whether children’s confessions should be banned. Its beginning was a petition created by Rafael Petligoski – performer and writer. More than 4,000 people have signed the petition so far. People, addressed to the Polish Sejm.

“Confession is a form of psychological violence. It is an intervention in the intimate world of a child, made with the requirement of telling ‘the whole truth’, under threat of punishment – divine – by people who do not have the appropriate psychological capacity for preparation. Confession prematurely confronts children with a world “The good and the bad,” when children have not yet fully developed the ability to understand their own actions. And recognition is also an area of ​​sexual abuse and psychological harassment. And it should be banned.” is reading.

Artur Nowak – lawyer, publicist and writer, one of the protagonists of Tomasz and Marek Sekielski’s film about sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests “Just Don’t Tell Anyone” took the floor in the discussion about children’s confessions. He wrote in his text for “Gazeta Wyborcza” that the priest who became his executioner “chosen” him in the confessional.

“I was convinced that by asking me about masturbation, he was concerned about my hygiene, which no one in the house talked about. He had an insight into my family’s relationships.” […]. Systematically, step by step, he tested me and checked how much he could afford, ”we read in Nowak’s text.

The lawyer points out that the difference between an adult and a child is that the choice of the latter is limited, and that the child does not realize that he can set limits for the person who asks him questions about intimate matters and therefore cannot defend them. himself against a potential executioner.

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“During many conversations with victims in church space, I’ve heard about the same modus operandi of offenders. This is a constant point in the victim stalking program. What irony and subtlety! During the confession, the predator gathers information on the condition of the victim’s family. He meets her during confession before he It reaches a child, who has enough data to know she won’t stand up for herself, that it will be easy to discredit her, and perhaps even loved ones will turn against her,” he writes.

Artur Nowak states that he does not believe pedophilia is an “occupational disease for priests”. At the same time, he asserts: “Even if the situations I write about are for every thousand, banning children’s confessions is a price worth paying to save and protect children.”

Sources:, “Gazeta Wyborcza”