Vatican punishes two Polish bishops

The Vatican has ordered two Polish bishops to reside outside their own archdioceses and has banned them from participating in public religious ceremonies in connection with negligence in cases of sexual abuse.

The Apostolic Nunciature in Poland said in a statement issued on Monday that the Holy See had completed its investigations into the case of Bishop Edward Janiak and Archbishop Slawoj Leszek Glodz.

Due to the official ruling, the bishops are 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.

"Acting on the basis of the provisions of the Code of Canon Law and the motu proprio of Pope Francis 'Vos estis lux mundi', the Holy See - as a result of formal notifications - conducted proceedings concerning the reported negligence of Archbishop Slawoj Leszek Glodz in cases of sexual abuse committed by some clergy towards minors and other issues related to the management of the archdiocese," the Apostolic Nunciature explained in a commentary.

The same announcement has been issued in the case of Bishop Janiak.

Last year, Pope Francis accepted Glodz's resignation on his 75th birthday in August, a sign he was taking the allegations against the archbishop seriously. Glodz, who had also served as the chief chaplain of Poland's armed force, denied any negligence.

Abuse survivors included Glodz in a report identifying two dozen current and retired Polish bishops accused of protecting predator priests. The report was delivered to Pope Francis on the eve of his 2019 global abuse prevention summit at the Vatican.

In May, Church leaders in Poland referred Janiak to the Vatican for judgment after a film by brothers Tomasz and Marek Sekielski purported to show that Janiak failed to take action against priests who were known to have abused children. Janiak has also denied any wrongdoing.

On June 23, the daily Gazeta Wyborcza wrote that in early June bishop Janiak had been taken to hospital where it turned out that his blood alcohol content (BAC) stood at 3.44 per mil. According to the Wiez magazine, Bishop Janiak has been charged by the rector of the Kalisz-based seminary with tolerating sexual abuse of minors by priests and their active homosexual activities.