The Polish Police are investigating father Marcin Kozyra, principal at St. Dominika Savio Silesian School (Gimnazjum Salezjańskie), in Lubln, after scandalous pictures taken during an unusual initiation ceremony were published on the school website.
The images show 13-year-old boys and girls willingly participating in a ritual in which they have to lick shaving foam off the priest's knees. They are all high-school freshmen at the institution from Lubln, in southern Poland.
During the ceremony that apparently takes place on a yearly basis, the children stand on their knees forming a semi-circle around Kozyra. He sits on an armchair, in the middle of the room, wearing shorts.
The pictures reveal that he has a wooden cane in his hands, the purpose of which is not known, but one could speculate it is used for disciplining the students.
The catholic priest stated that the children's parents had never issued a complaint about the ritual, suggesting that it was public knowledge, as it was allowed to carry on every year.
“Neither students or parents ever complained,” Kozyra said.
Local prosecutors decided to look into the matter after national media outlets published the photos. They deemed the principal's actions “tasteless,” but decided not to do anything to this respect. They will not be pressing charges, Daily Mail
According to thenews.pl
, prosecutors concluded that no law was broken during the ceremony.
“This exceeded the limit of good taste, no crime was committed, with no sexual intent,” they stated.
Children's rights groups were outraged by this decision, but deemed the incident a misunderstanding.
“The children were manipulated into this. Limits were exceeded. But not, it appears, with any other intention other than having fun,” Monika Sajkowska, spokeswoman for the Nobody's Child Foundation, explained.
She is not the only one defending father Kozyra. He was not suspended, as the school's board of trustees stands beside him in dealing with this allegation.
“We do not know the exact circumstances. [..] It was an initiation ceremony; maybe it was the kids idea,” board member Janina Jakubowska said.