Archbishop Andrzej Dzięga of Szczecin-Kamien, Poland. / Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Rome Newsroom, Feb 26, 2024 / 00:01 am (CNA).

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Polish Archbishop Andrzej Dzięga, who has faced allegations that he ignored abuse cases in Poland.

Neither the Apostolic Nunciature of Poland, which announced the resignation on Feb. 24, nor the Holy See Press Office provided a reason for Dzięga’s resignation. The 71-year-old prelate, who has led the Archdiocese of Szczecin-Kamien since 2009, will not turn 75, the age at which canon law requires a bishop to submit his resignation to the pope, until 2027.

Dzięga published a two-page resignation letter on Feb. 24 in which he apologized to his “brother priests,” saying, “if my weaknesses, including incomplete understanding of specific circumstances, and sometimes even my ordinary human fatigue became the cause of your anxiety, I am sorry.” 

The archbishop said he was resigning due to “a radical weakening of my condition,” adding that in the fall “it became obvious to me” that it was time to step down, and that the Holy Father agreed.

Bishop Zbigniew Zielinski, 59, who became bishop of the Diocese of Koszalin-Kołobrzeg in February 2023, has been appointed apostolic administrator of the Szczecin-Kamien Archdiocese, located in the northwest corner of the country, the nunciature announced.

According to a 2021 report by the Polish Catholic outlet Więź, the nunciature received four reports, from three separate individuals, alleging that Dzięga covered up cases of sexual abuse. The report noted that the complaints were submitted following the publication of Pope Francis’ 2019 motu proprio Vos Estis Lux Mundi, which established a new norms for handling sexual abuse cases. 

In 2021 the Polish television network TVN24 aired a documentary alleging that Dziega knew about abuse allegations against Father Andrzej Dymer as early as 1995 but took no action. According to Polish media, Dymer was convicted by a Church tribunal in 2008 of sexually abusing minors. Dymer appealed but died in 2021 before the appeal was adjudicated.

Join Our Free Mailing List

You can unsubscribe at any time. For more detail see our Privacy Policy.