Warsaw, Poland – On Monday, a Catholic priest was attacked and knifed on the church steps in the city of Wroclaw, in south-western Poland.
Polish Catholic priest stabbed in Wroclaw before mass
The attack occurred right before mass in front of the Holiest Mary church of Wroclaw, the capital city of Lower Silesia in Poland, when the Catholic priest was about to enter the church to prepare the altar before the service.
According to some reports, the attacker, a 57-year-old man, came up to the priest on the church steps and talked to him about the sex abuse scandals, before pulling out a knife and stabbing him. The assailant was detained by witnesses before being arrested by local police called to the scene.
The priest, Father Ireneusz Bakalarczyk, was taken to Wroclaw University Hospital to undergo surgery for wounds sustained in his chest and abdomen. According to Monika Kowalska, a spokeswoman for Wroclaw University Hospital, he’s now in stable condition and recovering from the attack.
Catholic Church under pressure over sexual abuse scandals
The attacker’s motives, as well as the exact circumstances of the incident, remain unclear, but comes at a time of unprecedented turmoil for the Catholic Church in Poland.
Last month, a shock-documentary on sexual abuse within Poland’s Catholic Church sparked outrage in one of Europe’s most religious countries. Several weeks ago, the Church had already unveiled a report, grossly underestimating the problem according to critics, admitting to hundreds of sexual abuse cases on children since the 1990’s.
In face of mounting pressure, the Vatican decided to dispatch its top investigator on pedophilia to Poland this month to attend the Conference of Polish Bishops.