Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi has denied claims that Juliusz Paetz, the former archbishop of Poznan (Poznan) who resigned in 2002 after allegations of abuse and was reprimanded by Rome, has been rehabilitated by the Congregation for Bishops.
There can be no question of "rehabilitation" in this case, Lombardi told reporters in Rome on Saturday. The measures taken by the Polish archbishop in 2002 continue to apply unchanged. The correspondence with the Roman Curia had been exclusively about Paetz's public celebrations at the invitation of a priest. For these, the approval of the local bishop is still necessary. At the same time, Lombardi denied that Paetz's successor, Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, had resigned in protest of a rehabilitation of his predecessor. Reports to that effect are "unfounded," Lombardi said, citing a related statement from the archdiocese. Following accusations that he had sexually harassed seminarians of his diocese, Paetz had petitioned Pope John Paul II in 2002. (1978-2005) submitted his resignation. This was accepted without giving further reasons. The Congregation of Bishops also reprimanded Paetz in the same year at the request of his successor, Stanislaw Gadecki, and imposed restrictions on his priestly activities. Several Polish media had reported on Friday, citing church circles, that the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops had now lifted this. Earlier on Thursday, Poznan's diocesan spokesman said the diocese had not yet received a decision from the Vatican on whether to withdraw sanctions against Paetz. The diocese denied a press report that Paetz's successor, Stanislaw Gadecki, had offered to resign in protest. The spokesman for the Archdiocese of Poznan, Maciej Szczepaniak, told the Catholic News Agency (KNA) on Saturday that he had no information on the matter. The Polish daily "Rzeczpospolita" also reported Saturday, citing church circles, that while there is no new decree from the Congregation of Bishops in the Paetz case, its prefect, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, has written to Gadecki in favor of allowing Paetz to preside at an occasional liturgy.