Poland : In the wake of the resignation of Archbishop Wielgus

Source: FSSPX News


The Episcopal Conference of Poland (KEP), meeting on January 12, announced their decisions through its secretary general, Bishop Piotr Libera, and it asked the media to be “patient” in the face of the delays necessary for their investigations.

 All of the Polish bishops will submit to an investigation of their past during the communist era, which will be conducted by the Ecclesiastical  Historical Commission. Local commissions will be set up in each diocese and a new national Ecclesiastical Commission comprising historians and lawyers, will be created in March 2007. Priests may go either to civil courts or ecclesiastical commissions.

 “The Church is not afraid of the truth” and  “has been fighting against sin for 2000 years” added Bishop Libera. Bishop Jozef Michalik, president of the KEP, said that the Polish Church  “is a positive model”, recalling the example of Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko, and of the many other Polish martyrs under the communist persecution. Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, stated that communism had been “a time of brutal persecution”.

 During his sermon on Sunday January 7, Cardinal Jozef  Glempf, the Primate of Poland recalled : “According to the CV of the Archbishop of Warsaw, it appears that Archbishop Wielgus  liked the sciences, especially theology, the science of the Church. And the magnificent results he was obtaining in this field, attracted the attention of the secret service of the communist State. What was the secret service? It was an organization, an institution of the People’s Republic of Poland, which made sure that its citizens had a “correct character”. (…) Communist ideology drove like a steamroller over the consciences of the Polish people, in order to crush everything down to the level of socialism. (…) Unfortunately, we no longer know the work methods and strategies used by the secret service, except through historical accounts.

 “Archbishop Wielgus was dragged into the cyclone, because he was a very zealous priest. And a priest full of zeal did not please.  He was reproached many times. Today, it is easy to say that he was implicated in these affairs, but we do not know what kind of pressure he was subjected to, what methods were used to force him to sign a document, a document without any legal value if it were signed under duress or after having been subjected to intimidation. (…)

 “Today, judgment has been passed on the person of the Archbishop of Warsaw. But what kind of judgment is it, if it is based on scraps of paper, on recopied documents? We do not want this kind of judgment or this kind of tribunal! If someone has accusations to make, he must formulate them and give the interested party the possibility of defending himself. But above all, there must be defense attorneys, witnesses and documents whose authenticity has been verified.

 “In the case of Archbishop Wielgus, this procedure did not take place. The judgment passed against him was not pronounced by a court! The bishop was forced to collaborate by threats and verbal attacks. So, why does his persecutor not testify today? It is estimated that tens of thousands of former secret service agents now have good jobs. Why were none of them asked to testify today?

 Confronted with cases such as this, it is difficult to believe in the seriousness of the Institute of National Memory. The material put together and prepared by the Communist services must not be considered an oracle; it cannot and must not be the one and only source of information on citizens of Poland. This would be too perfunctory and dishonest.”