POLAND – Father Ireneusz Bakalarczyk is in serious but stable condition after a man stabbed him Monday morning before he celebrated morning Mass.
The Polish priest was on his way to celebrate morning Mass in the city of Wrocław. When he reached the front of the church, a man stopped him. He struck up a conversation with the priest about the clerical sex abuse scandals.
But after only a few words, the 57 year-old man pulled out a knife and stabbed Father Bakalarczyk in the chest.
Witnesses to the attack apprehended the man who stabbed Father Bakalarczyk. Authorities will bring charges against him on Tuesday.
“We can guess that it isn’t a personal attack on a particular priest, just a man in a cassock,” Rafal Kowalski, a spokesperson for the Archbishop’s Curia, told a Polish press agency.
Father Bakalarczyk was taken to a local hospital and underwent surgery. He is now in stable condition.
The attack comes just weeks after the release of “Tell No One,” an independent YouTube documentary movie. Directors Tomasz and Marek Sekielski used the film to reveal details behind the Polish clerical sex abuse scandal.
The film’s release led to an emergency meeting of Polish bishops last month.
News of the scandal impacted millions of Polish Catholics. According to 2014 statistics, 85.8% of the population of Poland is Catholic. A third of the country’s population attend Mass on a weekly basis.