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Polish archbishop's suspension remains in effect, Vatican clarifies

Catholic World News - June 21, 2010

Correcting reports that appeared in the Polish news media late last week, the Vatican press office has denied that Archbishop Juliusz Paetz has been restored to episcopal ministry.

Archbishop Paetz resigned as head of the Poznan archdiocese in 2002, after being accused of sexual abuse of seminarians. Last week several Polish outlets reported that the Vatican had lifted his suspension—over the objections of his successor, Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki. Speaking to reporters on June 18, Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, denied both reports.

In the case of Archbishop Paetz, the papal spokesman said, “it is inappropriate to speak of ‘rehabilitation.’” The only question raised at the Vatican, he reported, was whether the retired archbishop should be allowed to preside at public liturgical events. Father Lombardi said that after weighing that question the Vatican decided: “The criteria and restrictions established in 2002, and followed since then, will nonetheless not be modified.”

Archbishop Paetz could theoretically preside at liturgical events if he received permission from the current Archbishop of Poznan. Given the attitude of Archbishop Gadecki, that seems highly unlikely.

However, Father Lombardi said that the report Archbishop Gadecki had threatened to resign if Archbishop Paetz’s suspension was lifted was “totally unfounded.”

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