La Croix International [France]
March 31, 2021
The retired archbishop of Gdansk and ousted bishop of Kalisz are banished from public events and fined for covering up sex abuse cases
The Holy See has placed sanctions on two controversial bishops in Poland following investigations that revealed both prelates badly mishandled cases of priests who sexually abused minors.
Archbishop Slawoj Leszek Glódz, who led the Archdiocese of Gdansk from 2008 until his retirement last August at age 75, was charged with “negligence”.
Bishop Edward Janiak, who was appointed to the Diocese of Kalisz in 2012, was forced to resign last October. But he had already been stripped of his authority last June for mishandling numerous cases of clergy sex abuse and the diocese was put under the leadership of a temporary administrator.
The Polish Bishops’ Conference said the Holy See ordered both men to leave their former dioceses. The Vatican also informed them they could not participate in public liturgies or even non-religious gatherings in the territories once under their responsibility
Archbishop Glódz and Bishop Janiak were also ordered to pay “an appropriate sum” to the St. Joseph Foundation, which works to prevent abuse and help victims.
The Polish Church issued a report in 2019 estimating that 400 priests had abused minors in the previous three decades.And since then, both Glódz and Janiak had been under intense pressure to resign.
The former archbishop of Gdansk was known for his luxurious taste. And his staff had accused him of “psychological harassment”.
But even more damning, he was accused of trying to cover-up abuse allegations against several priests that law enforcement officials in Poland eventually unearthed. This included the case of Father Henryk Jankowski, a former Solidarnosc chaplain who died in 2010.
Bishop Janiak was accused of moving an accused priest from parish to parish instead of reporting him.
The case was revealed by journalists Marek and Tomasz Sekielski in the documentary called Playing Hide and Seek, which nearly 8 million people have viewed on YouTube.
The ouster of the two prelates came only after the victims spoke out. While Archbishop Glódz’s resignation was snapped up the very day he turned 75, Bishop Janiak was forced to resign just after the Sekielski brothers’ documentary was aired.