World Youth Day priest removed after reportedly fathering child

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Tomasz Kijowski met his 22-year-old partner at a planning meeting for the World Youth Day, to be held in Krakow next July, Italian media said.

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A Polish priest has been stripped of his duties after reportedly fathering a child with a woman he met while working as spokesman for the upcoming World Youth Day in Krakow.

Tomasz Kijowski, a member of the Salesian order, has been banned from performing his duties and wearing his clerical robes or collar.

A Vatican representative was not immediately available to comment on whether the Polish priest would also be defrocked.

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The priest reportedly admitted his relationship with a woman in June, but the case has only just come to light in Polish media.

Andrzej Golebiowski, spokesman for the Krakow Salesians, said the process of formally expelling Kijowski from the order is underway. “The reason for this situation is that he has fathered a child,” he was quoted in Inside Poland as saying.

Kijowski met his 22-year-old partner at a planning meeting for the World Youth Day, which will be held in Krakow next July, Italian news agency Ansa reported.

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Pope Francis is due to attend Poland’s World Youth Day, which will bring together thousands of young Catholics from around the world. The pontiff also attended the last such meeting, which was in Rio de Janeiro in July 2013.

The revelation about Kijowski’s baby came just days after a fellow Polish priest, Krzysztof Charamsa, came out as gay after years working at the Vatican. In announcing he was in a gay relationship, Charamsa accused the Holy See of being “ignorant about homosexuality.”

The Vatican’s chief spokesman, Federico Lombardi, responded by describing Charamsa’s statements as “very serious and irresponsible” and announcing the priest would lose his position at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.



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