One of the priests was sent by the future pope to Austria. The then Cardinal Wojtyla wrote a letter of recommendation to the Vienna Cardinal Franz König, without informing him of the accusations against the parish priest.
For the investigation, Gutowski met with victims of pedophile priests, their families and former employees of the diocese.
The journalist also cites documents from the former communist secret police SB and Church archives to which he was able to access, although he points out that the Krakow diocese denied him access.
It is not the first time that the Polish Church has refused to show documents, even to the courts or to a public commission of inquiry into cases of pedophilia.
A witness who preferred to remain anonymous confirms in the report that he personally informed Cardinal Wojtyla of the acts of pedophilia committed by a priest in 1973.
“Wojtyla wanted to make sure first that it was not a bluff. He asked that it not be reported to any instance and said that he would take care of it,” declares this man, adding that the cardinal asked him explicitly if it was possible to keep the matter secret.
“What you have discovered is revolutionary because it shows what many people have suspected for years: that John Paul II knew that the problem existed before he even became pope,” Thomas Doyle, a former American Catholic priest and legal specialist, said in the report. canon and author of one of the first reports on abuses by Catholic clergy in the United States.
“I had to know, but there was no proof. And here we have one,” he adds.
A book written by the Dutch journalist Ekke Overbeek and titled “Maximum Guilt. John Paul II knew it” will be published on Wednesday in Poland, with similar accusations against Karol Wojtyla.
The press has revealed several cases of pedophilia within the Polish Church in recent years. The Vatican has sanctioned senior Polish religious officials as a result of this information.