‘Vos Estis’ Inquiry into Polish Catholic Archbishop Advances

Archbishop Głódź served as archbishop of Gdańsk from 2008 to Aug. 13, 2020, when the pope accepted his resignation on his 75th birthday.

Archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź
Archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź (photo: Public Domain / cc by-sa 3.0)

WARSAW, Poland — The apostolic nunciature in Poland announced Wednesday that the diocesan phase of an investigation into an archbishop accused of negligence has ended.

A Nov. 4 statement, posted on the Twitter account of the office of the Polish bishops’ delegate for child protection, said that the inquiry concerning Archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź was taking place according to the procedures set out in Pope Francis’ 2019 motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi.

Archbishop Głódź served as archbishop of Gdańsk from 2008 to Aug. 13, 2020, when the pope accepted his resignation on his 75th birthday.

The nunciature noted that the investigation was being carried out by Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz, the metropolitan archbishop of Warsaw.

It said: “Following formal applications, the Holy See, based on the motu proprio of the Holy Father, Francis, Vos estis lux mundi (Article 10§1), authorized the metropolitan archbishop of Warsaw to investigate the reported negligence of Archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź in handling cases of sexual abuse of minors by some clergy of the archdiocese of Gdańsk.”

The nunciature added: “The diocesan stage of the investigation was completed.”

In 2019, the Polish bishops’ conference issued a report which concluded that 382 clergy sexually abused a total of 624 victims between 1990 and 2018.

In June this year, more than 600 Polish Catholics took out a full-page advertisement in the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica urging the pope to intervene in the growing abuse crisis in the country.

The newspaper advertisement encouraged readers to visit the lay group’s website, www.dosckrzywdy.pl, which can be translated as “Enough injustices.”

The website highlighted accusations against Archbishop Głódź, as well several other bishops. It claimed that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Bishops had received complaints about the archbishop, but taken no action.

Archbishop Głódź was also portrayed as indifferent to clerical abuse in the documentary Tell No One, which has been viewed almost 24 million times on YouTube since its release last year.In the film Hide and Seek, a follow-up to Tell No One, directors Marek and Tomasz Sekielski highlighted accusations against Bishop Edward Janiak of Kalisz. 

On May 16, the day “Hide and Seek” was released, Archbishop Wojciech Polak, the Primate of Poland, reported the case to the Vatican.

On June 2, the Archdiocese of Poznań announced that the Vatican Congregation for the Bishops had authorized Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, Archbishop Janiak’s metropolitan archbishop, to conduct a preliminary investigation of the accusations under Vos estis

Pope Francis accepted Archbishop Janiak’s resignation last month.

On Oct. 9, the archdiocese of Kraków announced a Vos estis investigation into another Polish bishop. The archdiocese said that the pope had authorized Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski of Kraków to conduct an inquiry into negligence claims against Bishop Tadeusz Rakoczy, concerning abuse cases involving two priests in Bielsko-Żywiec diocese.

Bishop Rakoczy, 82, served as bishop of Bielsko–Żywiec from 1992 until his retirement in 2013.