Warsaw archbishop resigns amid
scandal about his cooperation with the communist-era secret police
EFE. January 7, 2007. Warsaw's
new archbishop resigned amid a scandal about his cooperation with the
communist-era secret police, Poland's Roman Catholic Church said Sunday.
Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus, who took the office on Friday, has
submitted his resignation, Poland's Episcopate said in a statement.
The church said Pope Benedict XVI asked the outgoing archbishop,
Cardinal Jozef Glemp, to administer the archdiocese until a replacement
A furor had grown around Wielgus since the allegations were first raised
Dec. 20 by a Polish weekly, with demands that he step down from his
The church in Poland, a heavily Roman Catholic country, enjoys high
esteem for its opposition to the former Communist government. Catholics
here revere the late Polish-born Pope John Paul II — credited by some
with hastening the regime's fall.
The scandal gained intensity after church officials said Friday that
documents at a historical institute indicated Wielgus had willingly
Newspapers Friday devoted their front pages to the revelations, even as
Wielgus took canonical vows as required by church law ahead of his
"Stop the installation," the daily Dziennik wrote in large bold print on
its front page, arguing that to allow a "former agent" to hold a top
church post would amount to a "moral scandal."
Wielgus acknowledged Friday that he did have contact with the secret
service, but he said that documents indicating he collaborated were
written by the secret police and reflected their account of events, not
The allegations first surfaced in the right-wing Gazeta Polska weekly,
two weeks after the Vatican appointed him archbishop of Warsaw. Wielgus
initially denied any collaboration.
Wielgus, who had been bishop of Plock since 1999, said Friday that he
was leaving his fate in the hands of the pope: "With full humility, I
declare to the Holy Father that I will submit to each of his decisions."
The Vatican had named Wielgus to replace Cardinal Jozef Glemp, who
stepped down after more than 25 years as archbishop of Warsaw.
Source: La Nueva Cuba