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Polish prelate who resigned amid abuse charges remains barred from public ceremonies

April 14, 2016

A Polish archbishop who was suspended from ministry after resigning in 2002 amid sex-abuse charges has been reminded by the Vatican that he should not participate in Church liturgies and public ceremonies. 

Archbishop Julius Paetz, who resigned as head of the Poznan archdiocese after he was charged with molesting seminarians, was told that he should not take part in celebrations marking the 1050th anniversary of Christianity in Poland, and the July visit to Krakow by Pope Francis for World Youth Day.

The reminder from the Vatican came after Archbishop Paetz told reporters that he saw "no reason" not to participate in this week's ceremonies marking the anniversary of Polish Christianity. Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the apostolic nuncio in Poland, informed Archbishop Paetz that his statement "blatantly contradicts the instructions given you." Public appearances by Archbishop Paetz, the nuncio said, would cause "unncessary and harmful commotion for the Church in Poland and the Holy See."

"The Holy Father decisively reiterates his invitation to you to live a life of privacy in repentance an prayer," Archbishop Migliore said. The nuncio's letter was released to the press by the Polish bishops' conference. 

This was not the first time that the Vatican has issued a public statement to oppose a bid by Archbishop Paetz to return to public activity. In 2010, the Polish archbishop tried to persuade reporters that the Vatican had lifted his suspension from ministry. The Vatican press office issued a statement explicitly denying that claim. 

 
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  • Posted by: feedback - Apr. 15, 2016 1:04 AM ET USA

    It is important to note that this was a classic case of clerical homosexuality and not pedophilia. None of the seminarians abused by Archbishop Paetz was a minor. The abused were college-age seminarians in the city of Poznan in Poland where Abp. Paetz was appointed as the Ordinary. The important question remains: who promoted (and why?) Rev. Paetz to episcopacy?