Vatican Sanctions Polish Archbishop Over Child Sexual Abuse Case, Bans Gatherings

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In the latest round of similar measures in the country, the Vatican has sanctioned a retired Polish archbishop for covering up child sexual abuse, the Archdiocese of Wroclaw said on August 22, 2021. Catholic Church authorities in Poland say the Vatican is punished Marian Golebiewski after reviewing reports of alleged negligence of the former leader. According to the Associated Press, the investigation, under which the retired archbishop was sanctioned, covered the years 1996 to 2004, when Golebiewski was head of the diocese of Koszalin. The investigation also covered 2004 to 2013 when he was the head of the Archdiocese of Wroclaw.

As a result of the investigation, the Vatican has now banned Golebiewski, 83, from attending any public religious or secular ceremony. The authorities also ordered him to make a donation out of his own pocket to a foundation for the prevention of sexual abuse and assistance to its victims. According to testimonies, he is also ordered to pray and repent.

“Following formal notifications, the Holy See has initiated proceedings regarding the reported negligence of Archbishop Marian Golebiewski in cases of sexual abuse of minors by certain priests,” the archdiocese said in a statement.

Dozens of clergymen charged

The report of people who say they have been abused by priests accused at least two dozen serving and retired Polish bishops and archbishops of protecting “predatory priests.” The report was delivered to Pope Francis on the eve of his 2019 Vatican Abuse Prevention World Summit. In recent years, the Church has been rocked by a series of abuse scandals while exerting a major influence on the Polish political scene.

Since 2020, the Vatican has announced sanctions against seven other Polish bishops who are accused of covering up the abuses, as well as a cardinal. In July, the State Committee on Pedophilia announced that at least a third of the 345 child sexual abuse cases committed and reviewed between 2017 and 2020 involved members of the clergy. Created only in 2019, the committee reportedly said it had received no response to its requests for documentation from the Polish Catholic Church.

IMAGE: AP


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