“Desecration of the memory”

Former Poznan archbishop Paetz: discussion about burial © Artur Szczybylo (shutterstock)

Former Poznan Archbishop Juliusz Paetz has been buried in a family tomb instead of the western Polish city's cathedral. Because of allegations of abuse, there had been appeals not to bury Paetz in the cathedral.

Burial in the house of worship would mean "desecration of the memory of the churchmen who rest there," clergy and faithful argued in a petition to current Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki.

Gadecki now told journalists on Monday that Paetz would be buried in a family grave in the cemetery of a Poznan parish. "I am convinced that the situation we find ourselves in today serves to purge the Poznan Church," he said after the funeral Mass in the cathedral. He pointed out that Pope John Paul II. (1978-2005) confirmed after Paetz's resignation in 2002 that he was no longer allowed to celebrate public masses.

Headlines after resignation

The archbishop emeritus had died on Friday at 84 years of age. The archdiocese had announced the funeral Mass in "close private form", but initially gave no details about the place of burial. Paetz was accused of sexual assaults on seminarians and priests; he always denied the accusations.

In 2002, Pope John Paul II. (1978-2005) accepted the resignation of the then 67-year-old without giving further reasons. The Congregation of Bishops at the time imposed restrictions on Paetz's priestly activities as well as on public masses. After his resignation in 2002, he made headlines several times for wanting to attend meetings of the bishops' conference and public masses.

Conditions for priestly activity

In 2016, the then-Vatican ambassador to Poland, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, noted in writing that it was "hard to imagine" Paetz defying the requirements and attending a Mass with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin in Poznan and World Youth Day with Pope Francis in Krakow.

Paetz was elected bishop on 2. February 1935 born in Poznan. In 1959, he was ordained a priest in his hometown. John Paul II. Appointed him bishop of Lomza in northeastern Poland in 1982 and archbishop of Poznan in 1996.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.