WARSAW, Poland – Poland's Roman Catholic bishops have elected a new leader to succeed Archbishop Jozef Michalik, who angered many with 2013 comments that suggested victims of pedophilia were partly to blame.
Wednesday's vote was unconnected to the controversy over Michalik, who had served 10 years — the maximum permitted — as leader of the Polish Episcopal Conference. He remains archbishop in the southeast Polish diocese of Przemysl.
Catholic commentators welcomed the election of Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, a conservative but conciliatory figure based in the western city of Poznan. Gadecki previously was deputy leader of the bishops conference.
In October, Michalik told reporters that children of divorced parents were more likely to suffer sexual abuse because they may seek "closeness with others" and encourage sexual contact. Michalik denied he meant this.