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Church denies bishop paid for 'Man of the Year' title

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 24.10.2013 12:48
The Polish Episcopate had denied that its leader Archbishop Jozef Michalik paid for a 'Man of the Year' title from a private company in Cambridge, England.

Archbishop Jozef Michalik. Photo: PAP/Wojciech Pacewicz

“The archbishop neither sought nor paid for any title,” insisted his secretary Father Adam Sycz, in an interview with the Catholic News Agency (KAI).

However, the agency acknowledged that the archbishop's CV on the Episcopate's official web site “contained inaccuracies which could suggest that this title was awarded by the University of Cambridge.”

Catholic weekly Tygodnik Powszechny had highlighted yesterday that Archbishop Michalik was promoting an alleged Cambridge University title from 1998/99 that was created by a widely criticised private firm called the International Biographical Centre.

The centre creates biographical dictionaries and dispenses titles and honours such as the Outstanding Intellectual of the 21st Century Award and the International Shakespeare Award for Literary Achievement.

However, the company has been accused of procuring money for the honours, with hundreds of dollars allegedly changing hands for the receipt of a certificate confirming a title, together with the relevant dictionary.

In a separate inquiry, the Department of Commerce of the Government of Western Australia concluded that the centre “wrongly implies” that a candidate “has been picked through a special research process considering their work and qualifications.”

Archbishop Michalik has been the focus of public debate in recent weeks as a result of a series of controversial remarks that appeared to shift the blame for child abuse by priests towards children and their families. (nh)

tags: Church, Michalik
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