Polish archbishop accused of sexual abuse - apostolic nunciature

Jacek Turczyk/PAP

Archbishop of Wrocław, Cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz, has been forbidden from celebrating Holy Mass and taking part in public meetings due to accusations of sexual harassment.

The Apostolic Nunciature in Poland also said on Friday that the cardinal, one of Poland’s most senior clerics, had also been forbidden from using the bishop's insignia and deprived of the right to a funeral service and a burial in Wroclaw's cathedral.

In May 2019, the prosecutor's office in Wrocław received notification that Archbishop Gulbinowicz had allegedly committed a crime. The notice was submitted by attorney Artur Nowak representing Karol Chum, who accused the archbishop of sexual harassment.

"The content of the notification is the testimony of Mr. Karol Chum; we have provided the circumstances, time and place of the probable crime, and indicated a person who could be interviewed in connection with it," Nowak told PAP at the time.

"We hope this matter will be examined comprehensively, also in the context of whether there have been any complaints in this regard, not only to the diocese, but above all to the nunciature and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith," he added.

The statement published on the Apostolic Nunciature's website says that, "as a result of an investigation into the accusations made against Cardinal Gulbinowicz and after analysing other allegations concerning the cardinal, the Holy See decided to prohibit him from participating in celebrations of Holy Mass, taking part in public meetings and using the bishop's insignia."

The cardinal was also ordered to donate a specific amount of money towards the activities of the Saint Joseph Foundation. The association, established by the Polish Episcopal Conferences, supports the activities of the Church helping victims of sexual abuse by providing psychological assistance. It also trains people responsible for the protection of minors.