Vatican Punishes Polish Prelate

News: World News
 •  •  May 28, 2021   

Guilty of sex abuse cover-up

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KRAKOW, Poland ( - A Polish prelate is now banished from public religious ceremonies.

The Archdiocese of Krakow announced Friday that Tadeusz Rakoczy, senior bishop of the Bielsko-Żywiec diocese in southern Poland, is being sanctioned owing to his negligence in dealing with child sex abuse involving priests in his diocese.

The Holy See, according to the archdiocese, had this to say about the bishop's behavior:

Acting in accordance with the Code of Canon Law and the motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi (a papal letter of the decree created on the initiative of Pope Francis — PAP) the Holy See — following formal notifications — conducted an investigation into the reported negligence of Bishop Tadeusz Rakoczy in cases of the sexual abuse of minors committed by some clergymen.

The reprimand includes several restrictions:

  • No participation in any public celebrations or meetings
  • The command to live a life in a spirit of penance and prayer
  • Prohibition of participation in plenary meetings of the Polish bishops' conference;
  • Payment of an appropriate amount from private funds to the Saint Joseph Foundation for victims of abuse.

Marek Jędraszewski, the metropolitan archbishop of Krakow, was appointed to investigate a 2019 complaint against Rakoczy. He found the bishop guilty of negligence.

Last June, Bp. Rakoczy was also accused of ignoring the required processes for investigating child sex abuse after a victim told him about being molested as an altar boy by one of the bishop's priests.

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Rakoczy was the diocesan bishop from 1992–2013, taking over as senior bishop shortly after.

Bp. Tadeusz Rakoczy and Bp. Jan Tyrawa

Another Polish Bishop in Hot Water

But he isn't the only Polish bishop in hot water with the Vatican for sex abuse cover-up.

The Apostolic Nunciature in Poland announced on May 12 that the resignation of Bydgoszcz Bp. Jan Tyrawa was accepted by Pope Francis.

Bishop Tyrawa was also accused of negligence in his diocese after a Vatican probe into accusations that he failed to properly investigate clerical sex abuse, including another altar boy who was molested in his diocese.

Tyrawa was ordained to the priesthood in the archdiocese of Wrocław in 1973. He became an auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese until 2004, when he was appointed to lead the diocese of Bydgoszcz.

Despite corrupt bishops, Polish Catholics are not looking to them as exemplars of faithfulness. 

They are, instead, celebrating the life of former Polish Primate Cdl. Stefan Wyszyński — who died on this day 40 years ago — noting his unshakeable leadership of Poland's Catholic Church under the boot of communism.

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