Monthly Archives: March 2019

March 23 2019 – “Poland – Decline and fall – A famed priest’s statue is toppled amid a widening clerical abuse crisis” – Catholic Herald – Jonathan Luxmoore – March 22 2019 – Page 14



March 23 2019 – “Poland – Decline and fall – A famed priest’s statue is toppled amid a widening clerical abuse crisis” – Catholic Herald – Jonathan Luxmoore – March 22 2019 – Page 14

Officials in Gdansk have ordered the removal of a monument to a Catholic priest linked to the Solidarity movement amid accusations that he was a paedophile, as the country’s bishops take new steps to combat clerical abuse.

“We’ll probably never know the truth, since this key figure is no longer alive,” explained Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, Gdansk’s newly elected mayor.

“While I value the presumption of innocence principle, there can only be one decision, given the current level of emotions.

The mayor spoke as the city council voted to demolish the statue of Fr Henryk Jankowski (1936-2010), an associate of Lech Walesa and other Solidarity leaders, who was rector of Gdansk’s St Brygida parish during the 1980’s strikes at the nearby shipyards.

The vote, also stripping the priest of his honorary citizenship, was boycotted by officials from Poland’s governing Law and Justice party (PiS) and criticised by Solidarity members, who said the accusations against Fr Jankowski were unproven.

Besides celebrating shipyard Masses during the Solidarity protests, Fr Jankowski organised aid for families of imprisoned union activists, but provoked complaints from Jewish organisations for controversial sermons after the 1989 collapse of communist rule.

He was finally dismissed as St Brygida’s rector by Archbishop Tadeusz Goclowski, who told clergy in a 2004 letter that Fr Jankowski had created “an unChristian climate”, while stoking “alarming media suspicions” by “receiving boys in his presbytery”

However, the priest told supporters he would not give in to “lies, hypocrisy and infamy”, and continued living in his parish house until his diabetes-related death aged 74.

The statue of Fr Jankowski, erected in a square named after him by a civic committee in 2012 [he died in 2010 – Ed], was toppled overnight in late February by a group complaining that it represented “a presence of evil in the public sphere”. This took place two months after abuse accusations were detailed against Fr Jankowski in the Gazeta Wyborcza.

Although the statue was restored to its plinth under Solidarity protection, Gdansk council noted during its meeting that legal investigations into the priest’s alleged crimes would be impossible in the current atmosphere, and ordered its removal and the renaming of the square.

The move came as Poland’s 157-member bishops’ conference launched an abuse report at its plenary assembly, attended by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and bishops from 11 other countries.

The report listed 382 cases of sexual abuse between 1990 and 2018, and said canonical procedures had been followed by the Church in 95% of instances, with three-quarters brought to completion.

However, it conceded that there had been “a certain ignorance” of Church rules on abuse, and there were “differences of reliability” between Polish dioceses and orders, in responding to enquiries.


March16 2019 – ‘Bishop Bell’ Letter from former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey to present Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner


“…I do so hope that you will find a way to finish off that statement that ‘George Bell cannot be proven guilty’ with the corresponding conclusion, ‘therefore he must be considered entirely innocent'”

Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey to the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner – at the end of a Letter dated March 13 2019.

March 14 2019 -“Topic of the Week – ‘Pius XII was no friend to Hitler'” – The Tablet


In his article “Unsealing the secrets of the wartime pope” (9 March), John Cornwell writes: “The central accusation is undeniable: that … Pius neither condemned Hitler and the Nazis by name, nor mentioned the victims – the Jews – by name.” 

May I make the point that, although not condemning Hitler by name, Pius XII is on record as denouncing totalitarian dictatorships, war-mongering, racism, persecution and mass murder.
The first encyclical of Pius, Summi Pontificatus, dated 20 October 20 1939, makes this very clear. He clearly condemns Hitler and the Nazis with a strong attack on totalitarianism. This wartime pope specifically condemns those regimes which, by deification of the state, threaten the very spirit of humanity.
In December 1940, Pius XII ordered the Congregation of the Holy Office to issue a decree explicitly condemning the mass murders in Nazi Germany and its pursuit of Aryan racial purity. He was no collaborative friend of Hitler and his evil regime, condemning the persecution and extermination of the Jews by his actions. The recent research findings of the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation bear this out.
When Pius XII died in 1958, Jewish communities, and others, expressed their deep gratitude for what he did, and tried to do, to help save them during the war. 

March 12 2019 – Popes, Bishops, Character Assassins – and The Beatitudes

Wartime Pope Pius XII, maligned by some for alleged lack of condemnation of Hitler’s Nazi regime, considered the Beatitudes precious.
In his 1939 Christmas Eve address [known as ‘The Pope’s Five Peace Points’], Pius XII stated:
“They [the warring nations] must cultivate that hunger and thirst after justice which is claimed as a beatitude in the Sermon on the Mount, and which supposes as its natural foundation the moral virtue of justice…”  
Wartime Bishop of Chichester George Bell, maligned by some for alleged child sexual abuse, also shared the Pope’s love of the Beatitudes – highlighting his ‘Five Peace Points’ in 1940*.
In a letter to his close friend Dietrich Bonhoeffer, imprisoned and later executed by the Nazis, Bishop Bell wrote:
“May God guide you and keep you. Let us pray together by reading the Beatitudes”
Richard W. Symonds