Rome Newsroom, Nov 16, 2020 / 06:45 am
A Polish cardinal recently sanctioned by the Vatican for sexual abuse has died at the age of 97.
Cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz died Monday morning, the Polish bishops’ conference announced Nov. 16.
Earlier this month, the apostolic nunciature in Poland announced disciplinary measures against the cardinal on Nov. 6 as the result of an investigation into “the accusations against Cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz and … other accusations concerning the past of the cardinal.”
The cardinal had been accused of sexually abusing a seminarian in the 1980s and of covering up abuse in another case. Gulbinowicz served as archbishop of Wrocław, in southwest Poland, from 1976 to 2004.
Among the disciplinary measures, Gulbinowicz was forbidden to have his funeral service at the city’s Cathedral of St. John the Baptist or to be buried in the cathedral.
The cardinal was also required to donate an “appropriate” sum of money to the St. Joseph Foundation, established by the Polish bishops in October 2019 to support abuse victims and promote safeguarding.
Gulbinowicz was born in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Oct. 17, 1923, when the city was known as Wilno and was part of Poland. After his ordination in 1950, Gulbinowicz obtained a doctorate in moral theology and became a university chaplain in Bialystok northeast Poland and taught at a seminary outside of Warsaw.
Pope Paul VI appointed Gulbinowicz to be an apostolic administrator of the Polish section of the Archdiocese of Vilnius and the following month he was ordained a bishop in 1970 by Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. He was appointed a cardinal in 1985 by Pope John Paul II.