Polish bishop resigns after probe into cover-up allegations

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a Polish bishop following a Vatican investigation into alleged negligence in addressing cases of sexual abuse of minors by priests under the bishop’s authority.

The forced departure of Bishop Jan Tyrawa was the latest in a string of sanctions the pope has meted out since mid-2020 to Polish Catholic Church leaders over cases of cover-up of sexual abuse by other priests.

The Vatican Embassy in Poland said that on Wednesday Francis accepted Tyrawa’s resignation from the diocese of Bydgoszcz, in central Poland, and placed Bishop Wieslaw Smigiel from the neighboring Torun diocese temporarily in charge.

The Vatican communique said the investigation was launched in response to signs of negligence in addressing sex abuse of minors. It didn’t say what the findings were concerning these allegations.

It said Tyrawa handed in his resignation after the probe was concluded and also due to some other difficulties in the running of the diocese.

Tyrawa was mentioned among other cases described in TV documentaries in Poland about alleged sex abuse by priests and cover-up by their superiors. The allegations came as a shock in the predominantly Roman Catholic country.

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