WARSAW (Reuters) – The leader of Poland’s conservative ruling party promised harsher sentences for child abuse on Sunday, as the release of a documentary about pedophile priests created a fresh battleground in an election campaign marked by debate on religion and sexuality.
The film “Just don’t tell anyone”, which features victims confronting their abusers, has reignited criticism of the Catholic Church’s handling of such cases and had over 3 million views within 22 hours of being posted on YouTube.
Changes - Code - Meaning - Crime - Abuse
“We prepared changes to the penal code meaning this crime (child abuse) will be punished very severely … there will be no suspended sentences, there will be severe penalties, maybe even up to 30 years in prison,” said the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party’s head Jaroslaw Kaczynski at a rally.
Currently, sexual abuse of a child under 15 is punishable by up to 12 years in prison.
Kaczynski - Words - Tensions - Liberals - Church
Kaczynski’s words came amid tensions between liberals who feel the church wields too much power in Poland and conservatives who see the Catholic faith as a key element of national identity whose influence must be protected.
On Monday, a woman was detained by police for posting images near a church of the Virgin Mary with her halo painted to resemble the rainbow flag of the LGBT community.
CHURCH - SORRY
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