The Pope on Tuesday accepted the resignation of a Polish bishop whose diocese has been shaken by reports of sex parties involving male prostitutes in the priest’s apartment and past incidents of violence by clergy.
The Vatican has not given reasons for Bishop Grzegorz Kaszak’s resignation as head of the diocese of Sosnowiec in southwestern Poland.
He is 59 years old, several years short of the normal retirement age of 75.
However, the diocese has been in the spotlight again since one of its priests came under criminal investigation for an incident allegedly involving a male prostitute at an apartment in Dombrova Grnicza on August 30-31.
Polish media reported that one of the participants at a sex party at his home collapsed from an overdose of erectile dysfunction drugs.
According to reports, the priest allegedly tried to prevent emergency personnel from entering the apartment.
Spokesperson for the Sosnowiec District Prosecutor’s Office Waldemar Wrniewski said the investigation focused on “the failure to provide assistance to a person in a situation that poses an imminent threat of loss of life or serious harm to health.” Ta.
The scandal has attracted much attention in Poland, where the incident was widely described as a “gay orgy” and damaged the image of the church, once the staunchly Roman Catholic stronghold of St. John Paul II. It hurt even more.
In recent years, Polish society has undergone a rapid secularization process, with many people rejecting the church and some even taking steps to officially leave it.
This is not the first time an incident involving a priest in the diocese has made headlines, and suggests the sex scandal is the final boost for the Vatican.
Pope Francis moved with unusual speed to dismiss Bishop Kazak after he announced on September 29 that he had tendered his resignation.
In 2010, the then-acting rector of the Sosnowiec Seminary was allowed to remain in office for more than a year after the incident was reported in Polish media after he allegedly caused a brawl at a gay club.
According to PAP news agency, the Holy See eventually intervened and dissolved the seminary completely.
In March 2023, the body of a 26-year-old butler was found with injuries that suggested murder.
Local prosecutors said the man was killed by a 40-year-old priest, who then committed suicide.
Prosecutors said the two had been in a rivalry for some time and that the priest had been sending threatening messages to the deacon, according to the PAP news agency.
Kazak said in a statement Tuesday that he asked the pope in a Sept. 29 letter to allow him to resign.
He thanked the parish priests and nuns and asked them to “forgive me for my human limitations.”
Kazak was appointed bishop by then-Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 after briefly serving as number two in the Vatican’s family office.
The diocese identified the priest involved in the incident as Fr. Tomasz Z. largely corroborated media reports, saying an external investigative committee had concluded that he had committed a “very serious violation of moral norms” and his duties as a priest.
The newspaper cited an “incident” in the priest’s apartment that involved him and at least two other parishioners.
According to a statement posted on the diocese’s website, Kazak removed the priest from all responsibilities on September 21 and initiated an ecclesiastical trial within the church, the outcome of which will lead to his release, or release. It is said that there is a possibility.
The priest has not been charged by Polish prosecutors.
Polish media cited statements he made shortly after the scandal broke, denying that he had prevented emergency workers from entering his apartment and questioning the definition of an “orgy.”
“I perceive this to be a clear attack on the Church, including the clergy and the laity, with the aim of humiliating the position, mission and mission of the Church,” the priest emailed Gazeta Wyborcza daily quoted in the statement.
Polish tabloid Fact published an audio recording of a call made to police by one of the participants.
In it, the person said he was kicked out of the apartment, begged emergency personnel to come and at one point cried, saying his friend had taken drugs and was foaming at the mouth.
The authenticity of the recording could not immediately be confirmed by The Associated Press.
of poland catholic church In recent years, there have been allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy, scandals that have forced the resignation of several bishops; damaged the reputation of the church.
The Vatican Embassy in Poland announced that the interim administrator, Archbishop Adrian Garbus of Katowice, will run the Diocese of Sosnowiec until a new bishop is appointed.