A Polish bishop has been charged with sexual abuse and sexual harassment after investigators uncovered he had sexually abused several children in his diocese, including the eldest child of the pope, the Vatican said.
The cardinal has denied the allegations.
“There are many reasons why this cardinal, like many others, was a victim of sexual and abusive abuse by a bishop,” the Vatican’s Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said in a statement.
Lombardi also said that the Vatican was in talks with authorities in several countries and had received “no official complaints from any church authorities.”
The Vatican said that it had received no complaints from the Polish government or local police.
Lombardo has been the Bishop of St. Peter’s in Warsaw for almost 25 years and is a popular figure in Poland.
His predecessor, the late Cardinal Josef Sobczak, died in 2013.
His successor, Cardinal Robert Sarah, is now the Archbishop of Krakow.
Poland’s top Catholic church official, Archbishop Zdenek Zielinski, said the charges were “very serious” and that he had called for a thorough investigation.
“This is a grave scandal,” Zielinsky told Polish TV station TVN24.
“We must look at what happened, why and how it happened, and the criminal justice must be carried out.”
In a statement, the Polish Justice Ministry said the pope had ordered an inquiry into the allegations, and that it would be “an independent and objective investigation.”