Vatican punishes Polish bishop for covering up child abuse

Marek Zimny/PAP

The Holy See has banned a Polish bishop from participating in public religious ceremonies after finding him guilty of negligence in incidents of child sex abuse involving priests from his diocese.

A Vatican investigation had looked into the behaviour of Bishop Tadeusz Rakoczy, a senior bishop of the Bielsko-Zywiec diocese, south Poland.

"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 Archdiocese of Krakow said in a statement released on Friday that he had been found guilty.

Rakoczy has been banned from participating in any religious ceremonies and public meetings. He is also banned from attending the plenary meetings of the Polish Episcopal Conference.

The bishop is also obliged to pay an appropriate amount from personal funds to the Saint Joseph Foundation, intended for preventive activities and assistance to victims of abuse.