The Vatican has imposed penalties on retired Polish Bishop Tadeusz Rakoczy after an investigation into his handling of clerical abuse cases.
The Archdiocese of Kraków announced May 28 that the Vatican had taken the step following an investigation conducted under the norms of Pope Francis’ motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi.
The 83-year-old served as bishop of Bielsko-Żywiec from 1992 to 2013, when he retired after his 75th birthday. The diocese in southern Poland is in the ecclesiastical province of Kraków.
Kraków archdiocese disclosed on Oct. 9, 2020, that the pope had authorized Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski of Kraków to conduct an inquiry into negligence claims against Rakoczy, concerning abuse cases involving two priests in Bielsko-Żywiec diocese.
In a statement on Friday, Kraków archdiocese said: “Acting on the basis of the provisions of the Code of Canon Law and Pope Francis’ motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi, the Holy See — following formal notifications — has conducted an investigation into the reported negligence of Bishop Tadeusz Rakoczy in cases of sexual abuse committed by certain clergy against minors.”
It said that following the probe, the Vatican had decided to ban Rakoczy from participating in public celebrations or meetings, including plenary meetings of the Polish bishops’ conference.
It also ordered him to lead a life of penance and prayer, and to pay money from his private funds to the Polish bishops’ St. Joseph Foundation, which works to prevent abuse and assists abuse survivors.
Rakoczy is the latest in a series of Polish bishops facing consequences after investigations under the Vos estis norms issued by Pope Francis in 2019 for an experimental period of three years.