The Vilnius Archdiocese claims that it had no information about the investigation conducted by the law enforcement against the chancellor of the archdiocese Kęstutis Palikša, explaining about his possible relationship with a minor, and the decision made.
At that time, the prosecutor’s office indicates that the diocese was provided with information about what was being investigated.
“We knew that priest K. Palikša has some kind of property dispute, in which he appears as the victim,” Bishop Arūnas Poniškaitis told reporters on Thursday.
He claimed that law enforcement did not inform the archdiocese about the ongoing investigation.
“I imagine it should be like that,” said the priest. “But it would be difficult for me to say what steps law enforcement must take.”
At that time, Gintarė Vitkauskaitė-Šatkauskienė, a representative of the prosecutor’s office, informed BNS that at the end of April last year, a search was conducted in the Curia of the Vilnius Archdiocese, during which the curia’s lawyer also participated.
“In the order that ordered the search, it was also stated in which case and for what the investigation is being conducted. A computer was seized during the search. No significant data was found during the investigation, so it was returned,” she said on Thursday.
A. Poniškaitis said that an ecclesiastical investigation will be started on Thursday regarding K. Palikša. He also added that law enforcement authorities have been contacted for the provision of information.
“From the law enforcement point of view, some things may not be confirmed, we are doing our own investigation, which might not be a crime according to state laws, but from a moral point of view, according to the canons of the Church, it may be a violation of those canons,” he said.
When asked if he had already spoken with the priest, A. Poniškaitis said that when he refused to communicate live, he contacted him via messages.
L. Balandi / BNS photo.
“Priest Kęstutis Palikša says that he is very distressed by this situation, he expresses the fact that the accusations made are wrong,” said A. Poniškaitis.
Priest Kęstutis Palikša says that he is very distressed by this situation, and expresses the fact that the accusations made are wrong.
According to the bishop, if the expressed suspicions were confirmed, appropriate decisions would be made, but he did not elaborate.
“It is necessary to carry out the steps one by one, what accusations have been brought, what has been established, what has been confirmed, then decisions are made accordingly,” he said.
News portal “Delfi” on Thursday published the testimony of a 19-year-old young man that he had an intimate relationship with K. Palikša, the chancellor of Vilnius archdiocese and resident of the parish, when he was only 15 years old. For this, he claimed to have received extremely large sums of money for several years.
As a result of the revealed information, the curia announced that priest K. Palikša informed on Thursday that he was resigning from all duties in the church.
The aforementioned priest was prosecuted for forcing a minor to have sexual intercourse. During a search of his tablet, officers found pornographic images of sexually exploited children between the ages of 14 and 18.
Finally, the prosecutor’s office dropped the suspicions of forcing a minor to have sex after failing to prove that the young man was in fact forced – he had close ties with the clergyman, who repeatedly gave him money.
K. Palikša agreed to the punishment proposed by the prosecutor for the acquisition and possession of pornographic material, so the process ended after the court passed a criminal order awarding 4 thousand. euro fine.
L. Balandi / BNS photo.
Tags: Vilnius archdiocese apologizes information suspicions priest-