City Desk

D.C.’s Papal Picketer Has No Plans to Stop

Washingtonian has a detailed profile of John Wojnowski, who may be better known as the guy who holds signs outside Massachussetts Avenue's Vatican embassy, or Apostolic Nunciature, denouncing the Catholic Church. Wojnowski, who says he was molested by a priest in Italy in his youth, has been protesting the nunciature since 1997.

While Wojnowski doesn't show signs of letting up, his children wish he would:

“I guess I always hope and pray for that Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ moment where my dad will ‘wake up’ and realize what he’s missing,” [Wojnowski's daughter Kasia] wrote to me. “Like the moment Ebenezer Scrooge wakes up after being visited by the three spirits and is overjoyed that there is time to make a change in his life and to benefit the people that care for him most.”

Wojnowski's been around long enough that profiles of him have become their own genre in Washington media. First there were the "what an odd man" stories, then, as the church's sex scandal broke around 2002, the "Wojnowski was right all along!" articles. Now reigning are the stories that use Wojnowski to get an angle on a larger Catholic event, last seen in Pope Benedict XVI's 2008 visit to D.C.

This Washingtonian piece, though, may be the first of a new type: the "how does the Catholic Church scandal affect the odd man who was right all along?" genre.

Photo by Arin Greenwood

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  • The Regular

    He's not odd. He's a hero. A shame the staff of Penn State didn't come to him for advice. He exposes pedophiles and the people who harbor them. What's odd about that?

  • Typical DC BS

    He's just looking for attention. Maybe he needs to get some counseling and move on. He was molested by a priest in ITALY, but protests here? What does the Pope have to do with his being molested way back when?

    Just another crank, like the nuclear protester across the street from the White House.