Vatican sanctions Polish archbishop for paedophile cover-up

Times of Malta

August 21, 2021

By Agence France-Presse

The Vatican has sanctioned a retired Polish archbishop for covering up child sexual abuse, the archdiocese in Wroclaw said Saturday, the latest in a series of such sanctions in the devout country.

The case against Marian Golebiewski, 83, is just the latest sexual abuse scandal to hit the Catholic church in the predominantly Catholic EU member state.

“In the wake of formal notifications, the Holy See carried out proceedings regarding Archbishop Marian Golebiewski’s reported negligence in cases of sexual abuse of minors by certain priests,” the archdiocese said in a statement. 

The negligence took place while Golebiewski was bishop of Koszalin-Kolobrzeg in 1996-2004, as well as when he was the archbishop of Wroclaw in 2004-2013, it added. 

Following its investigation, the Vatican decided to ban Golebiewski from public services and order him to donate to a Catholic foundation for the protection of minors. 

The Church, which wields strong political influence in Poland, has been rocked by a series of abuse scandals in recent years.

Since last year, the Vatican has sanctioned seven other Polish bishops accused of covering up abuses, as well as a cardinal. 

Last month the state committee on paedophilia announced that nearly a third of the 345 child sexual abuse cases committed between 2017 and 2020 that it examined involved members of the clergy.

The committee, set up in 2019, also said it had not received an answer to its requests for documentation from the Polish Catholic Church.

In its own report presented in June, the Polish church said it had received 368 allegations of abuse committed by clergy from July 2018 to the end of 2020, some dating back to 1958.