Juliusz Paetz

Juliusz Paetz (2 February 1935 – 15 November 2019)[1][2] was a Polish bishop of the Catholic Church. He served as the Bishop of Łomża from 1982 to 1996 and as the Archbishop of Poznań from 1996 to 2002, when his resignation was accepted following accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior.[3] After 2002, he was archbishop emeritus of Poznań.

Juliusz Paetz
Archbishop Emeritus of Poznań
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
ArchdioceseArchbishop of Poznań
In office1996–2002
Other post(s)Bishop of Łomża (1982–96)
Ordination28 June 1959
Consecration6 January 1997
Personal details
Birth nameJuliusz Paetz
Born(1935-02-02)2 February 1935
Poznań, Wielkopolskie, Poland
Died15 November 2019(2019-11-15) (aged 84)
Pleszew, Wielkopolskie, Poland
MottoIn Nomine Domini


Paetz was born on 2 February 1935 in Poznań and ordained a priest 28 June 1959 in Poznan Cathedral by Archbishop Antoni Baraniak. He worked as a curate in the parishes of Ostrow Wielkopolski and Poznan. He lived in Italy from 1967 to 1982. He worked in the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. In 1976 he was appointed prelate of the Pope's anteroom. He collaborated with the Popes Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II. In 1981 he was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of Portugal.


On 20 December 1982, Paetz was appointed Bishop of Łomża. He was consecrated bishop 6 January 1983 in St. Peter's Basilica by Pope John Paul II and took possession of his diocese on 13 March 1983.

On 11 April 1996 he was appointed Archbishop of Poznań.

Abuse accusationsEdit

In 2002, Paetz was accused of sexually molesting seminarians. A Polish newspaper reported that his "'homosexual inclinations' ... had been known for at least two years and he had been refused access to a seminary by its rector". It said that a Vatican inquiry had confirmed the substance of the allegations against Paetz, which he continued to deny.[4][5] He said: "I deny all the information published by the media and I assure you that it is a misinterpretation of my words and behavior.... The biggest criminals have a right to anonymity unless a court decides otherwise. I was deprived of that. Mass media have already judged me and sentenced me."[6] Pope John Paul II called it a "grave scandal".[7] He accepted his resignation and placed sanctions on him, prohibiting Paetz from exercising his ministry as bishop.[8] Paetz said: "Not everyone understood my open attitude to people and their problems."[9][10]

It was reported in 2010 that Pope Benedict XVI lifted these restrictions,[11] which Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi denied saying his "rehabilitation was without foundation".[12] Paetz remained Archbishop emeritus, having been replaced in Poznań by Stanisław Gądecki on the day he retired in 2002. He continued to participate on in episcopal ordinations and was seen on Polish TV greeting Pope Benedict XVI on his visit to Poland in 2006.[12]

In 2016, when Paetz planned to participate in a celebration in Poznań of the 1050th anniversary of Christianity in Poland, the Papal Nuncio to Poland, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, reminded him that he was not supposed to. He wrote: "Media news about your participation in official celebrations of the anniversary of Poland's baptism has created a new situation of unnecessary and harmful commotion for the church in Poland and the Holy See. It blatantly contradicts the instructions given you."[12] Paetz commented: "Why not? I am on home ground here."[7]


  1. ^ https://wiadomosci.wp.pl/nie-zyje-abp-juliusz-paetz-wiadomo-gdzie-zostanie-pochowany-6446380797134465a
  2. ^ Pieczyńska, Ewa (2019-11-15). "W Pleszewie zmarł abp Juliusz Paetz. Był oskarżony o molestowanie kleryków". wlkp24.info (in Polish). Retrieved 2019-11-15.
  3. ^ "Dzieje grzechu. Historia sprawy abpa Paetza". Gazeta Wyborcza. 24 June 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  4. ^ "EUROPE | Polish archbishop 'molested students'". BBC News. 23 February 2002. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  5. ^ Morawski, Jerzy (23 February 2002). "Grzech w Pałacu Arcybiskupim" [Sin in the Archbishop's Palace]. Rzeczpospolita (in Polish). Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  6. ^ Pasek, Beata (18 March 2002). "Polish prelate denies all sex harassment charges". The Independent. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Vatican intervenes over Polish bishop in molestation scandal". Radio Poland. 13 April 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Watykan: Nie zrehabilitowaliśmy Paetza". Fakt. 19 June 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  9. ^ "Polish archbishop resigns amid sex allegations". Baltimore Sun. Associated Press. 29 March 2002. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  10. ^ Tagliabue, John (29 March 2002). "Pope Accepts Polish Archbishop's Resignation". New York Times. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Ultimatum arcybiskupa Gądeckiego: Ja albo Paetz". Poznan.gazeta.pl. 18 June 2010. Archived from the original on 14 May 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  12. ^ a b c Luxmoore, Jonathan (13 April 2016). "Vatican reiterates Polish archbishop should shun public church events". National Catholic Reporter. Catholic News Service. Retrieved 31 July 2018.