Metropolitan Archbishop Adrian Galbas of Katowice, who has recently also become the administrator of the Sosnowiec diocese, apologized during the mass in the Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dąbrowa Górnicza for the fact that many people associate this parish not with the Mother of God, but with “inseriousness and sin.” – Sorry! Each and everyone. I apologize to you, the parishioners of this parish and the inhabitants of Dąbrowa. Through no fault of your own, you have become part of this infamy, he said.
It’s about a scandal involving Fr. Tomasz Z., who was arrested a few days ago, among others. on charges of crimes against sexual freedom and decency, failure to provide assistance and providing drugs.
It’s in Fr.’s apartment. Z. in the parish of St. Mary of the Angels last August, there was a sexual meeting with the participation of several men, during which one of them lost consciousness. The ambulance and police intervened.
“The natural reaction is outrage and anger. Then shame”
The archbishop presided over Mass in the Dąbrowa basilica last Sunday, and the content of his homily was published on the website of the Sosnowiec diocese. – When we enter the phrase “priests from Dąbrowa” or even “Dąbrowa Górnicza” itself in search engines, we will read not about holiness, but about sin. And the first natural reaction is indignation and anger. Then shame, said Archbishop Galbas. As he argued, living in a culture full of hedonism, we need a Christian culture that can offer different things to life electionsbased on the laws of the gospel and not merely on “superficial desires and short-term goals.”
– This, of course, applies to each of us, to each baptized person, but even more so to clergy. Today, many laypeople look at the lives of clergy and say: how do you live? Even though we were not ordained, although we did not have the same spiritual formation as you, although we did not commit ourselves to matters as lofty as you, we live more honestly. And many people leave the Church community for this reason – said the hierarch. As he added, when he read reports about the events in Dąbrowa Górnicza, he also felt indignation, anger and rage.
“Shame is not enough. Action is needed”
– Sorry! Each and everyone. I apologize to you, the parishioners of this parish and the inhabitants of Dąbrowa. Through no fault of your own, you have become part of this infamy. However, anger alone is not enough. Shame is not enough. Action is needed. And I want to assure you that this is being done. As you well know, proceedings are underway in the prosecutor’s office with which we, as the Church, cooperate. We want to help here. Fair canonical proceedings are also ongoing. When it is completed, you will certainly be informed about its result – assured Archbishop Galbas.
He thanked the faithful for their “healthy reactions to those events”, for their prayers and concrete actions. He also thanked “many wonderful, honest priests, both in the Sosnowiec diocese and in every other diocese. And in every single order.”
The case became famous not only in the country
About the events that took place in August 2023 the apartment of priest Tomasz Z., located in the parish of St. “Gazeta Wyborcza” reported a few months ago to the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Angels in Dąbrowa Górnicza, describing it as a sexual event that got out of control. When one of the meeting participants lost consciousness, another called an ambulance, but the rescuers were not allowed to enter; Eventually, the police were called to the scene, after whose intervention rescuers were able to take care of the unconscious man.
According to the prosecutor’s office, three people took part in the meeting – priest Z., a man who lost consciousness and has the status of a victim in the investigation, and a third person who called for help. The prosecutor’s office firmly denies the information reported in the media that the man who fainted was a “male prostitute.”
The case became famous throughout the country and also appeared in the foreign press. After the diocesan curia in Sosnowiec received a written notification from the parish priest of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Angels parish about the “intervention of the ambulance and police” in the apartment of Fr. Tomasz Z., the Ordinary of Sosnowiec appointed a commission to explain the circumstances of the event. October 2, Fr. Tomasz Z. received a decree from the Ordinary of Sosnowiec of September 21, containing the decision to dismiss him from all the functions and offices he had undertaken so far.
“In accordance with church law, the bishop of Sosnowiec admonished him canonically and ordered him to do penance until the final decision of the Holy See,” the curia informed. In a statement published on the diocese’s website, it was noted that “the event was a cause of great scandal for the faithful and justified indignation of public opinion.” The bishop of Sosnowiec decided to initiate a criminal procedure under which the most severe church penalties may be applied to the priest, including expulsion from the clerical state.
In a statement sent to “GW”, Fr. Tomasz Z. assured that, contrary to reports, there was no sexual orgy in his office apartment. He accused the media of publicizing this case only because it concerned clergy and that publications on this subject were harmful to the Church. He questioned the information provided, including that regarding failure to provide assistance.
In October 2023, the Apostolic Nunciature announced that Pope Francis had accepted the resignation of Bishop Grzegorz Kaszak from his duties as Bishop of Sosnowiec.
Archbishop Galbas was appointed administrator of the Sosnowiec diocese.
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