Roman Catholic Warsaw archbishop resigns amid scandal
The AP reported today that:
WARSAW, Poland - Warsaw's new archbishop resigned Sunday over his involvement with the communist-era secret police, and the Vatican said his past actions had "gravely compromised his authority" in the Roman Catholic homeland of the late Pope John Paul. II.
Stanislaw Wielgus announced his decision at the capital's St. John's Cathedral, packed with worshippers gathered for a Mass that was to have marked his formal installation. The congregation included President Lech Kaczynski.
A forlorn-looking Wielgus read from a letter to
Pope Benedict XVI in which he offered his resignation "after reflecting deeply and assessing my personal situation."
Though Kaczynski and some others applauded, many in the church and a large crowd packed outside in the rain shouted, "We welcome you," "Stay with us," and "No, No!"
Dressed in a resplendent golden miter and robes, Wielgus, 67, made his brief announcement less than an hour after Poland's church said in a statement that he had resigned.
Revelations that Wielgus had contacts with the hated secret police of the communist regime, which ended in 1989, had shaken a country where many view the church as a moral authority that bravely opposed the regime.
The case, which had simmered since mid-December, expanded into a full-blown crisis on Friday when a church historical commission said it had found evidence that Wielgus had cooperated with the secret police.
Wielgus initially denied that, but then issued two statements acknowledging that he did sign an agreement in 1978 promising to cooperate with the security force in exchange for permission to leave Poland to study in West Germany.
However, he stressed that he did not inform on anyone or try to hurt anyone, and he expressed remorse for both his contacts with the secret police and his failure to be forthcoming from the beginning.
The complete story may be found here: