Poland: Former chaplain of Solidarity dismissed from his office

Source: FSSPX News


Fr. Henryk Jankowski, parish priest of St. Bridget at Gdansk has accepted retirement. “I ask all those who have, with me, served the Church and Poland, to respect the decision of Mgr. Tadeusz Goclowski, as it has been taken for the good of the Church of Gdansk,” wrote the priest in a short missive addressed to his parishioners.

 This former glory of the Polish clergy, who enjoyed the support of his friend, ex-president Walesa – he was his confessor at the time of his chaplaincy of the Solidarity Union – was dismissed from his office as of November 27, by the archbishop of the port town, Mgr. Tadeusz Goclowski.

 Last month he was still saying in no uncertain terms that he would not let himself be taken advantage of and he would leave his parish only if forced to do so. Aged 68, the former chaplain to Solidarity is accused of insubordination towards his superiors. His entry into the farmers populist and radical movement Samoobrona (Self-defense) lost him many friends.

 Criticized for his taste for ostentatious luxury and his repeated anti-Semitic tirades, the priest had been accused of corrupting the young people in his parish. His bishop reproached him for having tolerated, in his parish “inappropriate behavior” on the part of young people. Fr. Jakowski was acquitted in July last year by the public prosecutors office, of an accusation of pedophilia with an altar server. But the inquiry showed that the activities of the young in his parish did not correspond with the high standards of the Church. The priest accused “Judeo-communist” forces of having mounted a plot against him.

 According to the Polish media, Mgr. Goclowski criticized Fr. Jankowski for having confused his church for a political forum. The rebel priest had announced his wish to appeal against this decision to the Holy See. He will continue to live at the parish of St. Bridget, but he will have a separate entry to his apartment.

 The supporters of the censured priest describe this compromise as a “success”. They have decided to cease all demonstrations, said Wojciech Podjacki, the organizer of the “vigils” in front of St. Bridget’s church, considering that the aim of these demonstrations has been achieved, as Fr. Jankowski has been able to remain in his parish.