Pope replaces Polish archbishop who tried to cover up abuse

A Polish archbishop’s attempts to cover up clergy sex abuse have resulted in Pope Francis replacing him on his 75th birthday.

While all Catholic bishops must offer to retire when they turn 75, it is “highly unusual” for the pope to accept their resignation on their actual birthday.

Doing so to Archbishop Slawoj Leszek Glodz of Gdansk (pictured) suggests that Francis wanted to signal his seriousness about ending the culture of concealment within the Polish church hierarchy.

The pope has named a temporary administrator to run the Gdansk archdiocese.

Glodz was featured in one of the devastating recent documentaries about priestly sex abuse cover-up in Poland.

In the 2019 film “Tell No One,” he is shown eulogizing a known pedophile priest at his funeral despite knowing of his abuse.

Abuse survivors also included Glodz in a report identifying 24 current and retired Polish bishops accused of protecting predator priests.

Francis was given the report on the eve of his 2019 global abuse prevention summit.

This is the second time in two months that Francis has replaced a Polish bishop on their 75th birthday.

A third Polish bishop has now been sidelined, pending a Vatican investigation into allegations he covered up for predators.

The Polish bishops conference announced the news of Glodz’s resignation in a statement, stressing that Glodz had turned 75 and “thus he has reached retirement age and is retiring.” The statement provided highlights of his biography.

Anne Barrett Doyle of the online abuse resource Bishop Accountability says Francis’s decision to remove Glodz on his actual birthday was encouraging and signals “his strong disapproval.”

Nonetheless, he could do more, she says.

“If he is outraged by the archbishop’s coddling of abusers, why not publicly denounce him?”

“Why not explicitly fire him rather than give him the dignity of retirement?”

In her opinion, true accountability would require Glodz to “incur penalties proportional to the pain he caused.”


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