It is the sort of practice normally expected of paranoid regimes such as North Korea, Mao’s China or the former Soviet Union, but a disgraced Polish archbishop who is being investigated for child sex abuse has been subjected to a Trotsky-style rubbing out in an official Catholic Church photo.
Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski served as a papal envoy in the Dominican Republic but was recalled to Rome last year amid claims that he sexually abused a number of children in the slums of Santo Domingo, the capital.
He appears to have been “purged” from a photograph of members of the bishops’ conference of the Caribbean country.
In the original picture, he appears smiling in the second row, wearing a dog collar, black vestments and a heavy crucifix.
But in the re-touched photograph, his head has been replaced by that of an emeritus bishop, Francisco José Arnáiz.