June 25, 2020
By Nicole Winfield and Monika Scislowska
Pope Francis has ordered a Polish bishop to leave his central diocese while he is under investigation for covering up cases of sexual abuse that were featured in a second clergy abuse documentary that has rocked Poland’s Catholic Church.
Pope Francis has ordered a Polish bishop to leave his central diocese and let someone else run it while he is under investigation for covering up cases of sexual abuse that were featured in a second clergy abuse documentary that has rocked Poland’s Catholic Church.
Francis on Thursday named the archbishop of Lodz, Grzegorz Rys, to temporarily take over as head of the Kalisz diocese.
The Vatican’s ambassador, in explaining the decision, said the current Kalisz bishop, Edward Janiak, 67, retains the title of Kalish bishop for the time being. But the explanation, posted late Thursday on the Polish bishops conference website, said Janiak must leave the territory of the diocese and can’t have any form of influence on how it is run.
In May, the online documentary “Playing Hide and Seek,” exposed two cases of pedophile priests that Janiak handled, first as an auxiliary bishop of Wroclaw and then as bishop of Kalisz, which he has headed since 2012.
It featured court testimony about Janiak’s role helping transfer one priest, subsequently convicted and defrocked, from Wroclaw to another diocese even after a criminal investigation had begun. The film also documented another case of alleged cover-up of another priest during Janiak’s time as Kalisz bishop.
The film suggests Janiak didn’t follow the Vatican’s own in-house rules to report allegations against the Kalisz priest to the Holy See, and did so only after the case gained media attention. The diocese maintains no actual victims had lodged a formal complaint, though the parents of one victim did. An audiotape of their 2016 meeting, in which Janiak berates the parents, provides one of the more chilling moments of the documentary.
Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.