Metro Weekly

Priest Who Hosted Drug-Fueled Sex Party Arrested

Father Tomasz Zmarzły is accused of failing to help a man who overdosed during an orgy at his apartment in Poland.

Tomasz Zmarzły - Screenshot via Polityka w Polsce
Tomasz Zmarzły – Screenshot via Polityka w Polsce

A Polish priest, who was arrested last week, could face up to 10 years in prison for failing to assist a man who collapsed from an overdose during a drug-fueled gay sex party. 

Father Tomasz Zmarzły has been charged with three drug-related offenses, including a charge of giving another person an illegal substance, according to prosecutors.

He also faces a charge “related to violating another person’s sexual freedom” and a fourth charge related to causing serious bodily injury and failing to provide assistance to a person whose life or health was in danger, reports the Daily Mail.

The sexual offense charge carries a maximum penalty of eight years in prison.

Zmarzły is currently being held in prison ahead of his next court appearance.

According to local media, Zmarzły, the pastor of the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Angels, in Dabrowa Gornicza, Poland, allegedly hosted a small group “party and play” sex session in his apartment with two other men back in September. But one of the men collapsed after overdosing on erectile dysfunction pills.

The third man reportedly called emergency services, but when paramedics arrived, they were denied entry to the apartment, according to witnesses. EMTs were only able to attend to the overdose victim after police arrived on the scene.

According to an audio recording of the 999 emergency call, which was obtained by Fakt newspaper, the third man is heard sobbing, saying the overdose victim “was so high… And they told me that he shouldn’t be touched! I tell them, check, I lifted his head and he was foaming at the mouth.”

He then is heard saying: “There are bars on the doors, I don’t know why… they kicked me out, hurry up!”

The caller tells the emergency operator that the men were taking party drugs, though he couldn’t say precisely which ones, and asks the operator to send an ambulance and police to the priest’s apartment.

Local media claim that the man who called for emergency services was a sex worker hired by Zmarzły for the sex party — something that prosecutors deny.

The overdose victim was taken to the hospital, where he later recovered and discharged himself.

Zmarzły, however, was reportedly suspended, while the head of the diocese, Bishop Grzegorz Kaszak, asked for permission from Pope Francis to resign, though the reasons for this remain unclear.

Prior to resigning, Kaszak initiated an in-house canonical trial for Zmarzły, which will likely result in Zmarzly being defrocked or expelled from the priesthood altogether.

A man claiming to be Zmarzły’s former partner told the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper that Zmarzły had turned to the gay dating app Grindr while he was debating becoming a priest.

“At the end of his studies at the seminary, Tomek [a diminutive form of Tomasz], aware of his homosexuality, hesitated about whether to accept priestly ordination at all,” the former partner claims. “He [went on] Grindr, but he finally decided to become a priest.”

Zmarzły did not comment following his arrest last week, but when the scandal was first reported on by the media, he sent a statement to Gazeta Wyborcza denying the allegations against him.

The scandal reportedly caused outrage in the conservative, strongly Catholic town, with at least one arsonist attempting to burn down the church and several parishioners preventing their children from attending Mass, according to local news reports. 

The local mayor, Arkadiusz Chęciński, also cut off ties with the parish.

“As a city, we are famous for tolerance and respect for all faiths and views,” Chęciński said in a statement. “However, due to recent reports from the diocese negatively influencing opinions about the city, the outrage of the inhabitants and the lack of a clear dissociation from these matters forces me to make the unpleasant decision to suspend the city’s cooperation with the Diocese of Sosnowiec until real corrective actions are taken.”

According to the PAP news agency, the Diocese of Sosnowiec, to which the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Angels belongs, has a history of scandals involving clergy. 

In 2010, the then-acting rector of the Sosnowiec seminary allegedly got into a scuffle at a gay club, but was allowed to remain in his job for over a year, despite intense scrutiny from the Polish media. The Vatican eventually intervened and dissolved the seminary. 

In March 2023, the corpse of a 26-year-old deacon was discovered, with the man’s injuries suggesting he had been murdered. Local prosecutors claimed that he had been killed by a 40-year-old priest with whom he had a difficult relationship marred by conflict. The priest, who committed suicide following the murder, reportedly sent threatening messages to the deacon, according to the PAP news agency.

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