Highlights from the week online

Cleared of murder – then hugged by a Pope

Amaury Coutansais-Pervinquière told the incredible story of Tomasz Komenda, a Polish man who spent 18 years in jail after being wrongfully convicted of the rape and murder of a teenage girl.

His mother had given him a photo of St John Paul II which he placed above his bed in his prison cell. Although an unbeliever, he started praying to the Polish pope.

“If you are a saint,” prayed Komenda, “You are in heaven with this girl. If you must take me up there, take me now. If I must be free, let me be free.” Six months later, a police officer knocked on his door – he wanted to help Komenda prove his innocence. A year later he was cleared.

Once released, he went to Rome with his parents and prayed in front of the altar where St John Paul is buried. His story reached Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, who took him to meet Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square. The family “were asked to say a few words”, Coutansais-Pervinquière wrote. “Touched by what he heard, Francis spontaneously held Komenda in his arms for a long time.”

Priests who blew the whistle on a cardinal

​How to continue reading…

This article appears in the Catholic Herald magazine - to read it in full subscribe to our digital edition from just 30p a week

The Catholic Herald is your essential weekly guide to the Catholic world; latest news, incisive opinion, expert analysis and spiritual reflection