Priest sex scandal shocks Poland

A priest in Poland, found guilty of having sex with a disabled 19-year-old girl who was entrusted in his care, has been sentenced to four years in prison.

This is the first time a priest has been caught and sentenced in Poland, though there have been few incidents in the past where priests were asked to resign.

Bialystok's District Court found that between July 2010 and February 2011 the priest had sexual intercourse with her as many as eight times, a media report said.

The incident came to light when the girl became pregnant last year and.reported the matter to the police.

The girl gave birth to a baby a few months ago but the name of the father of the child has not been mentioned anywhere on the documents, reports said.

Due to the extremely sensitive nature of the case,investigations have released very few details and the case was heard in camera.

The conduct of the priest has shocked the Polish clergy and the public at large.

The Polish clergy has been at the forefront in moral guidance of the Catholic nation in Eastern Europe.

During communist rule and in democratic times since 1990s under then leadership of Pope John Paul II, a Polish national, the church has set up the moral agenda for the nation.

Now like the other western countries, Polish clergy too has come under a scanner.

"Time has come that the church as a whole should change its policy of not allowing priests and nuns to have their own family. Why should only Catholic priests and nuns suffer the agony of abstention. It is unnatural and disturbing for a human to pretend for moral justification when the need of his or her body demands sexual gratification," said Janusz K, a leading Polish psychiatrist.

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