Polish bishop charged with cover-up of sexual abuse withdrawn by Pope Francis

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ROME – Pope Francis on Saturday fired for good a Polish bishop who had been expelled from his diocese a few months ago pending a Vatican investigation into allegations he covered up cases of sexual abuse committed by his priests.Edward Janiak’s resignation as Bishop of Kalisz suggests the Vatican was able to substantiate at least some elements of the accusations made in a documentary about sexual abuse in Poland that undermined the country’s influential Catholic hierarchy.

On Saturday, Francis accepted Janiak’s resignation and confirmed the Archbishop of Lodz, Grzegorz Rys, as provisional administrator of the diocese. At 68, Janiak is well below the normal retirement age of 75 for bishops.

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In June, Francis ordered Janiak to leave Kalisz and forbade him to have any influence on the functioning of the diocese pending investigation.

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In May, the online documentary ‘Playing Hide and Seek’ revealed two cases of pedophile priests that Janiak dealt with, first as Auxiliary Bishop of Wroclaw, then as Bishop of Kalisz, which he led. since 2012.

It contained judicial testimony about Janiak’s role in helping to transfer a priest, later convicted and defrocked, from Wroclaw to another diocese, even after the opening of a criminal investigation. The film also documented an alleged cover-up regarding another priest during Janiak’s time as Bishop of Kalisz.


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Coronavirus outbreak: Pope Francis calls for a global ceasefire amid COVID-19 pandemic


Coronavirus outbreak: Pope Francis calls for a global ceasefire amid COVID-19 pandemic

The film was the second on Polish clergy abuse to be directed by brothers Tomasz and Marek Sekielski. Their first film last year, “Tell No One,” sparked a national death toll in a country where there is no higher moral authority than the Catholic Church and its clergy.

The Polish Bishops’ Conference, reporting the news on its website on Saturday, simply posted a statement from the Vatican ambassador to Poland reporting that Janiak had resigned and that Rys would be Kalisz’s “apostolic administrator” until then. that the post be permanently filled.

© 2020 The Canadian Press



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