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    Probe opens after John Paul II monument vandalised

    Police in the city of Lodz, Poland, are investigating an attack on a statue of Pope John Paul II, who has been accused of covering up cases of child abuse. Authorities reported that the statue, which was installed in the city in 2015, was vandalized on the night of July 7th.

    On Sunday, the statue standing outside the city centre cathedral was the target of vandals. The pope’s hands were painted red and his face yellow, with the words “Maxima culpa” written in red paint at the bottom of the monument.

    The Latin phrase “maxima culpa,” meaning “through my most grievous fault,” may have been used to reference a book of the same title by Dutch journalist Ekke Overbeek. The book, which alleges that Pope John Paul II may have ignored allegations of abuse, was daubed on the statue in question.

    “No information regarding the incident is being published for the good of the investigation,” a spokesperson for the Lodz police, and a spokesman for the district prosecutor’s office told PAP on Monday.

    “CCTV camera footage has been secured and is now being analysed,” added the police spokesperson.

    In March, Marcin Gutowski’s report on three priests – Bolesław Sadus, Eugeniusz Surgent and Jozef Loranc – aired on TVN24 private television. Titled ‘Franciszkanska 3’, the investigation raised questions about the cases of the three priests.

    The alleged report has surfaced, claiming that Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, the Metropolitan of Krakow before becoming Pope John Paul II, was aware of cases of child sexual abuse perpetrated by three priests in his ministry, and yet permitted them to continue in the church and perhaps even attempted to conceal the matter.

    Wojtyla served as archbishop of Krakow from 1964 to 1978, when he became Pope John Paul II. He died in 2005 and was declared a saint in 2014 following a fast-tracked process.

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