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Bishop Grzegorz Kaszak Diocese of Sosnowiec

SOSNOWIEC, Poland (LifeSiteNews) –– The 59-year-old Bishop Grzegorz Kaszak of the Diocese of Sosnowiec has resigned following a recent scandal involving diocesan clergy and homosexual prostitutes and a petition of nearly 1,500 people calling on the Pope to remove him.

On October 24, the Holy See Press Office announced that Pope Francis had accepted the resignation of Bishop Kaszak from his see of Sosnowiec. As has become customary in recent years, the Vatican’s bulletin did not give a reason for the resignation. 

Writing to his diocese the same day, Kaszak stated that he had requested to resign on September 29, thanking the diocese and asking “everyone to forgive my human limitations. If I have offended anyone or neglected anything, I am very sorry for that.”

Archbishop Adrian Galbasis has been named as the apostolic administrator of the diocese until a new diocesan ordinary is appointed. Writing October 24, Galbasis quoted from the Mass for the election of a bishop, writing: “God, eternal shepherd… give the Church in Sosnowiec a bishop who will please You by living a holy life and leading us on the path of salvation.”

Homosexual party scandal

Kaszak’s diocese has been rocked by scandal in recent weeks after news broke of a party hosted by diocesan priest Father Tomasz Z. Reports stated that Fr. Tomasz had hosted a party in his parish lodgings on August 30 – 31, inviting other priests and a male prostitute. 

READ: Polish basilica set on fire after clerical homosexual orgy scandal shocks nation

The male prostitute is understood to have overdosed on chemsex drugs administered during the event and lost consciousness. Reports stated that one of the guests allegedly called an ambulance, but when the first responders arrived, they were not allowed to enter the building. Police were called, and the paramedics were able to help the unconscious man.

Polish media now report that Tomasz is being investigated by prosecutors over the alleged failure to assist the male prostitute. 

The Diocese of Sosnowiec has been moderately tight-lipped regarding the event. The diocese did state that Tomasz’ involvement in “what happened in Dąbrowa Górnicza on the night of 30-31 August is beyond doubt,” but no confirmation was given regarding the presence of other priests.

On September 22, Bishop Kaszak wrote to the priests of the diocese to express his sorrow and ask for penitential services in reparation for the “recent events,” while not confirming the precise nature of the events. 

“The recent events in Dąbrowa Górnicza have filled us with great pain, shame, and anger,” he wrote. “We don’t exactly know everything [that happened]. The procurator’s office is investigating the case as a violation of the civil law whereas our commission is investigating it as a violation of divine and canon law,” he continued. “As I write these words, the work is still going on, and it is difficult therefore to say exactly what happened.”

The next day, Kaszak wrote to the diocese asking for prayers and support for the “aching and ashamed priests, as well as those who have done nothing wrong but are suffering very much, and it is very difficult for them.” The bishop emphasized that he was thinking here “in a special way” of women religious and catechists.

Kaszak did confirm in this subsequent letter that a priest had “committed a scandalous act.”

Following this, an alleged copy of the audio file of the reported call to the emergency services, made about the prostitute. The individual making the call is reported as describing the prostitute as lying naked, and foaming at the mouth from the drugs. 

Kaszak has initiated a canonical trial against the priest. 

Petition to remove bishop

Following this scandal, a petition was issued calling for Bishop Kaszak’s resignation. Signed by over 1,400 people at the time of this reports publication, the signatories write that “we cannot remain silent and unresponsive in the face of long-standing scandals that can no more tarnish the reputation of the Church, because this reputation has been irretrievably lost…. however, we do not lose faith that it can be rebuilt!”

The petition made mention of how “scandals that have appalled us for years are not explained,” referencing previous scandals and allegations of mismanagement and improper behavior in the diocese under Kaszak’s tenure. 

Signatories demanded a “Vatican commission” to investigate the truth and for a new bishop to “help preside over the healing process, restoring faith and hope in the hearts of the scarred people.” 

Background of peculiar events

As alluded to in the petition, the reported homosexual orgy is more the last straw than the first infraction for Kaszak’s time leading the diocese.

In 2010, reports emerged that the rector of the diocesan seminary was a practicing homosexual, after testimony was published online by a man who reportedly engaged in sexual activity with the rector. 

The rector earned Kaszak’s support, who left him in place. But after the seminary gained a sordid reputation – described as the “lavender seminary” among some left-leaning publications – a Vatican visitation was begun resulting in the closure of the seminary in 2013. 

Kaszak’s handling of the 2017 suicide of a priest also came under scrutiny, after the priest’s death was treated with strong suspicion by those who new him. The bishop attributed the death to mental ill-health, and did not proceed with the matter further. 

Then earlier this year, a 26-year-old deacon for the diocese was found dead with multiple stab wounds. According to local prosecutors cited in news reports, it is believed the deacon was killed by a 40-year-old priest of the diocese, who was also found dead in front of a train – an apparent suicide. 

Local media have pointed to mismanagement of the diocese, which bred such situations among the clergy, heavily implicating Kaszak for failing in his responsibilities. 

The bishop previously served as secretary for the Pontifical Council for the Family, from 2007, under Cardinal Alfonso Trujillo.

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