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Pope accepts resignation of Polish bishop for negligence over abuse

Episcopal Ordination of Monsignor Vincenzo Turturro at St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

WARSAW (Reuters) - Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a Polish bishop for negligence in handling cases of sexual abuse committed by some clergy against minors, his representatives in the country said on Saturday.

Andrzej Dziuba, a bishop in Lowicz, had not informed law enforcement authorities about the case of a priest from his diocese who abused a 14-year-old boy, according to local media reports, which said Dziuba is facing charges in Poland.

"Difficulties in the management of the diocese were identified, in particular negligence in handling sexual abuse cases committed by some clergy against minors," the Apostolic Nunciature in Poland said in a statement. Dziuba had been asked to resign by the Holy See, it added.

The Lowicz diocese said on its website that Dziuba was retiring, citing the Pope's decision to accept his resignation without further elaboration. Dziuba did not immediately comment.

His departure comes less than a month after the pope accepted the resignation of a Polish archbishop accused in a 2021 documentary of turning a blind eye to child abuse.

One of Europe's most devoutly Catholic countries, Poland has seen a string of child abuse scandals, with the church saying two years ago that between July 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2020, it received 368 reports regarding abuse of minors.

According to 2021 census data, 71% of the population consider themselves Catholic.

(Reporting by Marek Strzelecki; editing by Giles Elgood)