Pope Francis accepted the resignation of a Polish bishop Tuesday following accusations that a priest under his authority hosted a homosexual orgy in his apartment that required medical attention due to an overdose.
Bishop Grzegorz Kaszak, 59, who led the diocese of Sosnowiec in southwestern Poland, quit amid allegations that parish priest Tomasz Zmarzly organized a gay sex party involving a male prostitute at the rectory of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Angels church in Dabrowa Gornicza in August, according to The Associated Press.
Zmarzly was placed under criminal investigation following the alleged incident, which Polish media reported involved a 27-year-old participant collapsing after overdosing on erectile dysfunction pills. The priest and others allegedly attempted to keep paramedics from entering the rectory until paramedics called the police.
According to an audio recording of a call to police that was reported by Polish tabloid Fakt, one of the alleged orgy participants claimed he was thrown out of the apartment and wept as he said that his friend had taken drugs and was foaming at the mouth, The U.K. Times reported.
Waldemar Łubniewski, who serves as a spokesman for the District Prosecutor’s Office in Sosnowiec, said the investigation centered on a “failure to provide assistance to a person in a situation that poses an immediate threat of loss of life or serious damage to health.”
In a statement to the Polish press last month, Zmarzly disputed the description of the party and the number of priests in attendance at the alleged orgy, saying, “it is worth reading what the definition of an orgy is,” according to The New York Times.
The priest also characterized the controversy as “an obvious attack on the church, including the clergy and believers, in order to humiliate its position, tasks and mission,” maintaining that nobody would have cared if “something similar had happened” involving someone who was not a member of the clergy, according to the Gazeta Wyborcza daily newspaper.
The diocese released a statement in September admitting that Zmarzly’s participation in the alleged orgy was “not in doubt,” and that he was subsequently prohibited on Sept. 21 from celebrating Mass, mandated to live outside the parish, and subjected to a canonical trial that could see him defrocked.
Kaszak, who was appointed to his position by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, asked to resign in a Sept. 29 letter to Francis amid the allegations against the parish priest.
“I ask everyone to forgive my human limitations,” Kaszak wrote on the diocese website. “If I have offended anyone or neglected something, I am very sorry.”
The Vatican embassy in Poland noted that Archbishop Adrian Galbas of Katowice would be filling in as the head of the Diocese of Sosnowiec until a new bishop takes the reigns, according to the AP.
The Roman Catholic Church in Poland, the home country of Pope John Paul II, has been afflicted by allegations of clerical sex abuse against minors, which has led to the forced resignations of multiple bishops.
Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org
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