Vatican sanctions two Polish bishops after ‘Vos estis’ investigations

Archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź (L) and Bishop Edward Janiak (R). Archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź (L) and Bishop Edward Janiak (R)./ Credit: Joanna Adamik (public domain) and Press Office of the Archdiocese of Krakow.

The apostolic nunciature in Poland announced Monday that the Vatican has sanctioned two Polish bishops at the conclusion of canonical inquiries into accusations they were negligent in their handling of sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

According to March 29 statements on the website of the Polish Catholic bishops’ conference, Archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź and Bishop Edward Janiak have been ordered by the Holy See to live outside their former dioceses, and told they cannot participate in public liturgies or non-religious gatherings within the territory of the dioceses.

Głódź and Janiak have also each been ordered to give “an appropriate sum” from their personal funds to the St. Joseph Foundation, which works to prevent abuse and assists victims of abuse.

The nunciature’s statements said the Holy See made the decision to sanction the bishops “as a result of the completed investigation,” which followed the procedures set out in Pope Francis' 2019 motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi.

Janiak’s inquiry was for negligence “in matters of sexual abuse committed by certain clergy against minors, and other matters relating to the administration of the diocese,” according to the nunciature.

Głódź was investigated for negligence “in cases of sexual abuse committed by certain clergy against minors, and other issues related to the governance of the archdiocese.”

The Vos estis inquiry into Głódź, who was the archbishop of Gdańsk from 2008 to Aug. 13, 2020, began last year.

The diocesan phase of the inquiry ended at the beginning of November.

Głódź has been retired since August 2020, when Pope Francis accepted his resignation on his 75th birthday.

Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz, the metropolitan archbishop of Warsaw, oversaw the investigation into Głódź, who was portrayed as indifferent to clerical abuse in the documentary “Tell No One.”

In the film “Hide and Seek,” a follow-up to “Tell No One,” directors Marek and Tomasz Sekielski also highlighted accusations against Bishop Edward Janiak of Kalisz.

After more than eight years as bishop of Kalisz, Pope Francis accepted the 68-year-old Janiak’s resignation in October. Since June 2020, the diocese had been administered by Archbishop Grzegorz Ryś of Łódź, after the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops authorized a preliminary investigation under Vos estis lux mundi into accusations Janiak had failed to take action against a priest accused of abuse.

Another Polish bishop is currently being investigated under Vos estis for alleged negligence.

On Oct. 9, the archdiocese of Kraków announced that the pope had authorized Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski of Kraków to conduct an inquiry into negligence claims against Bishop Tadeusz Rakoczy, concerning abuse cases involving two priests in Bielsko-Żywiec diocese.

Rakoczy, 82, served as bishop of Bielsko–Żywiec from 1992 until his retirement in 2013.

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