November 16, 2020
By Vanessa Gera
Henryk Gulbinowicz, a prominent Polish cardinal who only days ago was sanctioned by the Vatican over accusations he had sexually abused a seminarian and covered up abuse in another case, has died. He was 97.
The Polish Bishops’ Conference said Gulbinowicz died Monday morning, adding in a brief statement: “Lord, give him eternal rest.”
Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, the head of the bishops’ conference, asked God to forgive Gulbinowicz.
“I am asking God in His mercy to forgive the deceased for causing suffering to those harmed, and pain to the community of believers,” Gadecki said in a statement.
“While unequivocally expressing disapproval of the sins committed, one must not forget about the good that many people shared through his life and ministry. May he rest in peace!”
Gulbinowicz was long viewed as a hero in Poland and was decorated with the nation’s highest honors. Under communism, he was considered one of the most important clerics helping the democratic opposition, hiding Solidarity activists in his church buildings in Wroclaw and helping to store its money.
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