Following claims in the media that the Vatican rehabilitated a Polish archbishop accused of sexual abuse and that his successor had resigned in protest, the Vatican press office released a statement on June 19 declaring the contrary.
Archbishop emeritus Juliusz Paetz of Poznan in western Poland, resigned in 2002 after accusations were made that he had sexually abused seminarians at the diocesan seminary. No criminal allegations were ever brought forward, and Archbishop Paetz was never proven guilty.
Last week, Polish media outlets reported that Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, had released a statement rehabilitating Archbishop Paetz. Rumours also declared that his successor, Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, had resigned in frustration and protest.
But on Saturday, the Holy See's press office released a clarification which states that recent correspondence with Rome has only examined whether or not Archbishop Paetz is allowed “preside at public celebrations, if invited to do so by a pastor and always having first received the necessary 'nihil obstat' from the local ordinary.”
Thus, to speak of “rehabilitation” is “inappropriate” because such was not the topic of discussion, the communiqué said.
The clarification also informed that “the criteria and restrictions established in 2002, and followed since then, will nonetheless not be modified.”
The Holy See also repeated what an archdiocesan spokesman said on Sunday. “It is completely unfounded that Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki of Poznan has presented or even considered the possibility of resigning from the pastoral care of the archdiocese.”