Priest convicted of burglary in the presbytery. “He suggested where the money might be hidden”
Photo: Antonina Długosińka
Father Maciej Ż. he was sentenced to six years in prison for being active in a gang that robbed eleven presbyteries. We discovered that the same priest had been “suspended” since 2007, that is, suspended from priestly duties as a result of suspicion of theft. Nevertheless, the former bishop of Bydgoszcz, Jan Tyrawa, by his decree appointed him a vicar in one of his subordinate parishes. – This case came to light when there was a church investigation related to suspected negligence of the bishop in preventing the abuse of minors by diocese priests – church sources say tvn24.pl.
The trial of Father Maciej Ż. and two of his companions ended in March at the District Court in Trzebnica near Wrocław.
Maciej Ż. he heard a sentence of six years in prison. Two other members of the gang were also sentenced: Robert Ż. – also six years in prison, and Andrzej B. more severely, seven years in prison, because the court found that he had acted in recidivism.
The verdict in this case is not yet final, as the defenders of the convicts have appealed.
Rally after presbyteries
The history of the gang is recorded in twenty volumes of files, to which the journalist tvn24.pl obtained access with the consent of the court. According to the findings of the police and the prosecutor’s office, only from the end of May to the beginning of mid-November 2015, the priest and his companions broke into 12 rural parishes. In eleven successful cases, on one they were put out. The prosecutor’s office accused them of another, thirteenth burglary, but the court acquitted them of this charge.
The files show that they fell in thanks to the work of policemen from the headquarters in Skierniewice, who were assisted by colleagues from the Provincial Police Headquarters in Łódź. Officers dealt with two cases of theft from presbyteries in their vicinity. When it turned out that their colleagues from operational divisions did not have any information about potential perpetrators, they decided to seek the help of an analyst.
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