Church gives ‚liberal’ priest final chance

Church gives ‚liberal’ priest final chance

A progressive priest who apparently said that the older generation of Polish bishops needs ‚to die out’ has been given a ‚final chance’ by his superiors.

Father Wojciech Lemanski was banned from leading occasional masses at his former parish of Jasienica, near Warsaw, following controversial remarks made at the Prystanek Woodstock rock festival.

However, head of the Warsaw-Praga diocese Archbishop Henryk Hoser has told Catholic weekly Gosc Niedzielny that he hopes that Father Lemanski will uphold “the unity” of the Church.

“This is the last attempt and the last chance,” Hoser said.

“My decisions are designed to save his priesthood,” the archbishop argued.

Archbishop Hoser initially dismissed Father Lemanski from his post in Jasienica in July 2013 (a decision that was upheld by the Vatican this year), but the priest was allowed to lead occasional masses as a visiting clergyman.

Hoser’s initial explanation for the dismissal was that the priest had shown “a lack of respect and obedience to bishops, as well as to the teaching of diocesan bishops in Poland on bioethics issues.”

Lemanski informed the media at the time that the archbishop resented his involvement in projects promoting dialogue between Poles and Jews, but the Church denied the accusation.

The clergyman, who currently serves at a psychiatric hospital for children near Warsaw, remains a popular figure in Jasienica, where he has a group of committed supporters.

He visited his old parish on Sunday but refrained from saying mass. (nh)

Photo: Father Wojciech Lemanski in his former parish of Jasienica. PAP/Leszek Szymanski

 

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