Divorced parents also to blame for paedophilia: Polish archbishop

The top cleric in Poland's Roman Catholic church said Tuesday that parents share the blame for certain cases of paedophilia, including those involving Catholic priests.

The comment comes amid mounting allegations of paedophilia involving priests in Poland, one of Europe's most heavily Catholic countries where loyalty to the church is beginning to wane.

"Many of these cases of (sexual) molestation could be avoided given a healthy relationship between parents," Archbishop Jozef Michalik, head of Poland's Episcopate told the Polish PAP news agency Tuesday in Warsaw.

"We often hear that this inappropriate attitude (paedophilia), or abuse, manifests itself when a child is looking for love," Michalik said.

"It (the child) clings, it searches. It gets lost itself and then draws another person into this", Michalik said.

While condemning paedophile priests "whom neither the Church nor anyone else can accept," Michalik also spoke out against divorce as being harmful to children.

"How many wounds are their in children's hearts, in children's lives, when their parents go their separate ways," Michalik told the PAP.

"Today nobody talks about divorce doing great harm to a child. It's obvious that sex abuse does great harm, one can't forget about it, but it's not the only thing" causing harm, he added.

In an unprecedented move, Polish Church leaders apologised earlier this month over alleged paedophile priests, as prosecutors on both sides of the Atlantic began probes against two high-profile suspects.

Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, a 65-year-old Pole who served as a papal envoy in the Dominican Republic's Santo Domingo for around five years, is being investigated for allegedly having sex with teenage boys.

Authorities on the Caribbean island nation are also investigating Wojciech Gil, a 36-year-old priest suspected of raping several young boys while serving there.

Gil told Polish media last week the allegations were fabricated, pointing to Dominican drug gangs possibly trying to frame him.

Despite the apology, Church leaders in Poland inist they will not be offering victims any material compensation.

Unlike the United States or Ireland, child sex abuse by priests in Poland has been a largely taboo subject and has so far not provoked widespread public outcry.