Pope Francis has replaced the Archbishop of Gdańsk on the prelate’s 75th birthday.
Archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź was replaced by an apostolic administrator upon turning 75 on Thursday. He had been featured a devastating recent documentary about priestly abuse and cover-up in Poland. The 2019 film “Tell No One” shows him eulogising a known abuser priest, Fr Franciszek Cybula, at the priest’s funeral despite knowing of his abuse.
Although bishops are bound by canon law to submit their resignations upon turning 75, it is unusual for the Pope to accept a resignation so quickly.
Prominent Polish abuse survivor Barbara Borowiecka told the AP she was euphoric when she learned Głódź had been replaced. “I am so, so happy and shocked,” she said. “I never expected this news, never in a million years.”
This is the second time in recent months that Pope Francis has replaced a prominent Polish bishop on their 75th birthday.
Anne Barrett Doyle of BishopAccountability said the Pope’s decision to remove Głódź so quickly was encouraging, but he could do more. “If he is outraged by the archbishop’s coddling of abusers, why not publicly denounce him?” she told the AP. “Why not explicitly fire him rather than give him the dignity of retirement?”