A Polish catholic priest has been forced to defend himself after pictures emerged of children licking cream off his legs.
The photos show an "initiation ceremony" at the Salesians' high school in Lubin, southern Poland -which Father Marcin Kozyra, who is also the school's principal, said was entirely innocent, and such ceremonies for first year pupils had taken place for years.
In the pictures, 13 year-old pupils, both girls and boys, are seen licking whipped cream off a priest's bare knees as well crawling up a flight of stairs.
Father Kozyra said he saw nothing wrong in his actions or the pictures being posted on the school's website.
Parents of some pupils have come out in support of the priest in a letter, where they claimed that the whipped cream was actually shaving foam and nobody was forced to eat it.
Janina Jakubowska, from the board of trustees at the Lower Silesia Education Board told the Gazeta Wyborcza“not to judge the case too hastily. We do not know the exact circumstances.
“It was an initiation ceremony: maybe it was the kids idea.
Local prosecutors launched an investigation after the photos were picked up by the national media, and have now said they will not press charges against Father Kozyra, but condemned his behaviour as 'tasteless'.
But they added that although "this exceeded the limit of good taste, no crime was committed, with no sexual intent.”
Monika Sajkowska, from the Nobody's Child Foundation , while agreeing that the intentions of the priest at the school may have been innocent, told Polskie Radio the behaviour as “inappropriate”.
“The children were manipulated into this. Limits were exceeded. But not, it appears, with any other intention other than having fun."
The photographs of the initiation ceremony have now been removed from the school's website.Suggest a correction