VATICAN CITY, JUNE 21, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The former archbishop of Poznan, Poland, who stepped down in 2002 after sexual abuse allegations, has not been reinstated, confirms a Vatican spokesman.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, told journalists Saturday that it was “unfounded to speak of ‘rehabilitation'” of Archbishop Juliusz Paetz, 75, who resigned in the midst of a Vatican investigation regarding allegations that the prelate had sexually harassed priests and seminarians. The archbishop maintains his innocence.
Rumors in the Polish press over the weekend said the Vatican has revoked a ban that disallowed the archbishop from presiding at religious ceremonies, based on a series of letters that have been exchanged between Rome and the Archdiocese of Poznan.
Further reports asserted that the current archbishop resigned upon hearing of the reinstatement of Archbishop Paetz.
Father Lombardi denied both rumors: “The issue addressed in the exchange of letters with Rome affected exclusively his authorization to preside over public celebrations at the request of a parish priest, always counting on the necessary ‘nihil obstat’ of the bishop,” Father Lombardi explained.
“The criteria and restrictions established in the year 2002, and applied up to now, will not be modified,” he added.
Father Lombardi also confirmed with the spokesman of the Archdiocese of Poznan that Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki had not “presented” or even “thought of the possibility of resigning from the governance of the archdiocese.”