The metropolitan of Białystok, Archbishop Józef Guzdek, spoke about the spokesman of the curia, Father Andrzej Dębski, who was to send vulgar messages and films with sexual propositions to one of the women. The archbishop said that it was very hard for him. He explained why he deprived the priest of the right to perform pastoral services.
– Outrage, embarrassment, shame and hurt were also my part. I experienced it very hard – said Archbishop Józef Guzdek, Metropolitan of Białystok, in front of the TVN24 camera on Tuesday (19 July).
It is about the famous case of the spokesman of the curia, Fr. Andrzej Dębski, who, as Gazeta Wyborcza wrote, sent vulgar messages and films with sexual propositions to one of the women. The priest has already been deprived of the right to perform any pastoral services and to wear a clerical dress. He was also ordered to start therapy and penance in the place indicated by the metropolitan.
The archbishop told Father Dębski that this should not have happened
– First of all, a big word “sorry”. Great regret for these words that were words that degrade the dignity of a woman. Primate Wyszyński said that when a woman entered his office, he always got up. As a sign of respect – the metropolitan told us.
He also said that he met priest Dębski in private. – On Monday, I handed him a decree, on the basis of which he was not so much suspended as deprived of any possibility of holding priesthood and wearing a collar. I also said that this shouldn’t have happened. This is great pain, great shame, great scandal – said the archbishop in front of our camera.
He admitted that on the part of Fr. Dębski, apologies appeared. – But as it was written in the article, the priest does not know why he did it. From his lips I did not hear any explanation – said Archbishop Guzdek.
The archbishop claims that he did not know that there were complaints against Father Dębski
When asked if the curia had received complaints about Fr. Dębski, reminded that he is the metropolitan of Białystok from September 4, 2021. – During the first months, I was still very deeply immersed in the ministry of the field bishop (Wojska Polskiego – ed.), Because until February 12, 2022, I combined these two tasks. Then I visited all parishes for two months. At that time, no reports were received, and no one came forward, said the archbishop.
He stated that it was only from “Gazeta Wyborcza” that he found out that his predecessor (Archbishop Tadeusz Wojda – ed.) Was to receive complaints about Fr. Dębski. “I think there will be a process to explain all this to what it really is,” he said.
Archbishop: you need to know the truth – once, but painfully and to the end
He also added that if any new facts appeared or if any aggrieved persons came to the curia, the matter would not be swept under the rug.
– That’s not my style. If we want to free ourselves from all suspicions, comments and scandal, we need to know the truth – once, but painfully and to the end. If there are any reports, I am open to an appointment. I will definitely react – said the archbishop.
Obscene recordings and entries
It all started on Saturday (16 July) morning, when “Gazeta Wyborcza” described that it had several obscene recordings and a series of entries that the spokesman of the Białystok curia, Father Andrzej Dębski, sent via the communicator to the Internet user Ola.
According to “Wyborcza”, the Internet user’s acquaintance with Father Dębski on Facebook began on Easter, when she sent him an invitation to a group of friends. The scans of the conversation that the newspaper quotes indicate that the internet user was supposed to send an invitation “by accident”, because she was supposed to be talking about “another Andrzej Dębski”.
The priest confirmed in an interview with the newspaper that he was the one who sent the correspondence
As “GW” wrote, the exchange of views after two days was to “gain momentum”. “Wyborcza” also described a few recordings that the priest was supposed to send to the internet user. According to the journal, a priest is supposed to masturbate on one of them. Another was to be recorded on the set of a Catholic children’s program. According to the newspaper, the latest news is expected on May 9. The Internet user was supposed to break off the acquaintance and delete the Facebook account.
“GW” wrote that the priest had confirmed the correspondence. He stated that “it was not appropriate” and “regrets” it. When asked why this particular woman was the addressee of his correspondence, the priest replied: – I don’t know, I have no idea what happened to me, how it happened.
The priest is no longer the chaplain of Jagiellonia. Television also ended cooperation with the clergyman
Father Andrzej Dębski is a well-known figure in Podlasie. He was ordained in June 2001. He was not only a press spokesman for the Archdiocese of Białystok, but also a lecturer at the Archdiocese Major Seminary, a football chaplain at Jagiellonia Białystok, and a publisher of a Catholic magazine on TVP Białystok.
Jagiellonia Białystok announced on Monday in a short announcement that due to Saturday’s information from Archbishop. Guzdek on the suspension of the priest from all functions, he is no longer the club’s chaplain.
According to the club, the priest was appointed in 2010. “At the same time, we would like to emphasize that Father Andrzej Dębski and Jagiellonia Białystok were not bound by any civil and legal agreement, and the priest performed his function socially,” wrote Jagiellonia Białystok.
After Saturday’s publication, the editorial office of TVP Catholic Broadcasts and the regional branch of TVP3 in Białystok immediately ended the cooperation with the priest. The priest was, among others leading the “Grain” and “Under Your Defense” programs.
tvn24.pl, “Gazeta Wyborcza”, PAP
Main photo source: TVN24