On Sunday, Polish “Gazeta Wyborcza” daily announced the publication of a reportage telling the story of 15-year-old Monika from Kraków, southern Poland, who was allegedly sexually abused by Bishop Jan Szkodoń. The accused hierarch denied any wrongdoing in a statement published later that day.
“The allegations made against me are untrue and undermine my good name, which I’m going to defend,” wrote Bishop Szkodoń. He stated that he would refrain from any pastoral activity until the case is solved.
The story, published in the Monday issue of the daily, includes horrifying details of the hierarch’s alleged relationship with the then underaged victim that began over 20 years ago in Kraków. Even after Monika entered adulthood, Bishop Szkodoń continued to affect her life choices to a great extent.
“In the light of the media revelations concerning myself I would like to say that I have been informed by the Apostolic Nuncio in Poland about the initiation of proceedings which are envisaged by Canonic Law, and inner-church norms regarding the post of a bishop, against me,” Bishop Szkodoń wrote.
He stressed that the establishment of truth is a matter of priority for the proceedings hence he cannot disclose any information on the case. The proceedings against Bishop Szkodoń are conducted by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Born in 1946, Jan Szkodoń received his priestly ordination in 1970 from the hands of Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, the later John Paul II. In 1988, he was ordained bishop.