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Polish Cardinal Suspected Of Sex Abuse Dies

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A Polish cardinal suspected of sexual abuse who had been banned by the Vatican from carrying out his duties has died at the age of 97, the Polish Catholic Church said on Monday.

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In the statement announcing the death, Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, the head of the Polish episcopate, said Cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz had caused “pain” among the faithful.

The Vatican’s embassy to Poland earlier this month banned Gulbinowicz from using bishops’ insignia and said he could not be buried in a cathedral after concluding an investigation.

The cardinal had also been asked to donate to a foundation created by the Polish episcopacy to help the victims of sexual abuse.

Appointed cardinal by late Polish pope John Paul II in May 1985, Gulbinowicz has been accused of abusing a 15-year-old in 1989 and protecting a priest who was branded a paedophile.

He is also accused of not having informed the Vatican about another priest who was found guilty of paedophilia.

The higher echelons of Poland’s ecclesiastical hierarchy have been shaken by a series of scandals this year.

Last month, the Vatican’s ambassador to Poland announced the resignation of Polish bishop Edward Janiak who was suspected of covering up sexual abuse of children.

And in August, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Slawoj Leszek Glodz, the Archbishop of Gdansk known for his high-end lifestyle and love of luxury, following accusations he had bullied priests and remained silent on alleged sex abuse.

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