Hereford & Worcester

Wojciech Jasinski: Polish priest's bones removal case dropped

Fr Wojciech Jasinski said he moved Witold's bones to be with his mother's
Image caption Fr Wojciech Jasinski said he moved Witold's bones to be with his mother's

A priest accused of illegally removing a boy's bones from a grave has had the charges against him dropped.

Father Wojciech Jasinski, of the Marian Fathers, had been accused of illegally moving the bones of a 14-year-old boy.

He said he thought it was morally right to move the boy's bones from Herefordshire to be with his mother's in Oxfordshire.

A judge at Worcester Crown Court decided there was insufficient evidence for a jury to convict him.

He had been charged with illegally removing a corpse from a grave.

The 14-year-old boy was Witold Orlowski, a Polish boy who escaped from the country during World War II and travelled to Mexico, with his mother Zofia.

Whilst in Mexico he encountered a sick priest, Jozef Jarzebowski.

Witold prayed to God to take his life rather than that of the priest. He died and Fr Jarzebowski lived, eventually moving to Herefordshire. Witold became a hero among other members of his faith.

Image caption Witold Orlowski with his mother Zofia

Fr Jasinski said: "Witold's mother came here after the war to work at a school set up by Father Jarzebowski and brought her son's remains with her."

He was buried at the former St Raphael's Convent in Bullingham, Herefordshire.

Zofia eventually moved to Henley-on-Thames, where she died, and where Witold's bones were moved to by Fr Jasinski who said he took them so the boy could be reburied with his mother.

"The main reason I decided to make the removal was to fulfil the wishes of the mother, to make her happy," he said.

The boy's bones now lie with his mother's in Henley-on-Thames.

Fr Jasinski said he was now returning to Rome, where he lives.

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