The Nunciature in Poland has said it has “no information” on reports of a supposedly imminent Vatican investigation of the Archbishop of Gdańsk.
– Media reports Archbishop Scicluna of Malta to be apostolic visitor “without foundation”
In a statement released today on the website of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, the nunciature in Warsaw stated that “to date” it “has not received any information that the Holy See has decided to send an apostolic visitor to verify the situation in the Archdiocese of Gdańsk”.
The Vatican embassy in Poland added that media reports both that an apostolic visitation is being planned to investigate Gdańsk archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź and that Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the Archbishop of Malta and adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith would be appointed visitator, “therefore… are without foundation”.
But the nunciature did confirm that all complaints about archbishops are sent “to the competent dicasteries of the Holy See”.
“The Apostolic Nunciature is not a body adjudicating and deciding in matters concerning bishops, clergy or religious operating in Poland”, the embassy stressed, adding: “This function is clearly the responsibility of the Holy See’s organs”.
Those disclaimers would seem to suggest that should Vatican authorities wish to proceed with any action against an archbishop such as that of Gdańsk, they could in fact do so without necessarily informing the nuncio.
– Embassy denies investigation, but admits consultations underway to find a new bishop
Though the nunciature in Poland denied that an investigation is underway into Głódź, it did reveal that consultations have started with regards to the 74-and-a-half year old’s successor in the northern Polish city.
“At the behest of the Holy See, consultations with bishops, priests and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Gdańsk and other Polish dioceses have been underway for several months in order to select the successor of Archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódz”, the nunciature confirmed.
The mission also recalled that “the appointment and moment of announcing the new archbishop belong only to the highest authorities of the Church”.
Along with announcing the consultations with regards to Głódz’s successor, the Vatican embassy also disclosed that the Nuncio has been present with the archbishop in the archdiocese, “as he… does for all other hierarchs in Poland”.
In “previous months”, the nunciature also said, the nuncio has met “with many priests, religious and lay faithful from this archdiocese”, and has another meeting planned for March “with a group of faithful” from Gdańsk.
The nunciature in Poland concluded today’s press release with a request “for spiritual support so that it can continue its mission in a calm and impartial way for the good of the whole Church in Poland”.
– The accusations: bullying, verbal humiliation, emotional abuse; profit from Church offices to fund a “lavish lifestyle”
The nunciature’s declarations today on the situation of the Gdańsk archdiocese and archbishop are significant given that the latter has been in the spotlight now for several months over bullying, verbal humiliation and emotional abuse.
Novena reported last October that more than a dozen diocesan priests had accused archbishop Głódź of regularly bullying subordinates and of offering Church positions for financial gain, which the bishop used to fund a “lavish lifestyle”.
Public humiliations, vulgar and abusive language and a culture of fear were characteristic of the environment in the archdiocese, the priests denounced.
One priest even accused Głódź of harassing him about his weight.
“If you put on another kilogram, I’ll f…ing get rid of you in a year”, that priest said the archbishop told him.
The October Gdańsk priests’ protest was followed up by demonstrations outside the diocesan curia in November and December over Głódź’s alleged covering-up of a pedophile priest.
Following the nuncio’s offer of a March meeting, the Gdańsk Catholic protesters have cancelled the protest they had planned for this weekend in front of the nunciature in Warsaw.