Rorate Caeli

Other Polish Churchmen "knew how to refuse the offers"

Several pages of some of the publicly-available SB (Communist Polish Intelligence Services) files regarding informer-collaborator "Grey" (Wielgus) are available in Zip files here: File 1, File 2, File 3, in a total of 69 pages.

From Radio Polonia (with minor corrections; also in audio file):

Case proven, say historians

Documents have been found proving allegations that Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus was a knowing collaborator of the communist era secret services.

Agnieszka Bielawska reports


The allegations of the Archbishops’ cooperation appeared some two weeks ago in the Gazeta Polska weekly. Wielgus has called for the examination of his files in order to clear his name, but after two commissions began studying the documents more accusations followed in the media. The special commission set up by Poland’s ombudsman Janusz Kochanowski issued a statement that the documents leave no doubts that Archbishop Wielgus was an informant.

Andrzej Paczkowski a member of the commission.

"There is no field for discussion here. We can speak about motives, effects but the fact is there. This person was a conscious collaborator, but the documents do not state what this person really did. There are instructions, orders but no reports on the accomplished deeds."

Stanislaw Wielgus is to be sworn in as archbishop of the Warsaw diocese on Sunday but opinions prevail that he should resign and explain the proven facts. Tomasz Sakiewicz editor in chief of the Gazeta Polska, the first to raise the matter, says that such an explanation could avoid a serious crisis in the Polish church:

"It's never too late because I believe that Wielgus is responsible for the church and he knows that he caused the crisis. There was never such a crisis in the Polish church and many Polish Catholics believe that he should resign to avoid the crisis....”

The Polish church and the Vatican stand by Archbishop Wielgus, but the Polish churchgoers begin to have doubts. The accusations evoke unease among the faithful for whom the Church was a model of morality and the pillar of opposition to the communists. Tomasz Sakiewicz says that this situation, unless cleared up will undermine the credibility of the Church.

"Polish people stand by the church and believe their priests, but now everybody knows he is lying - it is even worse than his cooperation with the communists."

Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus is not the first high-ranking cleric to be accused of working with the communist era secret services. The Polish Church however was loath to open an internal probe, but research had been started by Father Tadeusz Issakowicz Zaleski.

He devoted a year studying the National remembrance Institute files which showed that only some 10% of the Polish clergy agreed to cooperate with the communists. Father Zaleski underlines that ... the former metropolitan of Krakow cardinal Franciszek Macharski or Archbishop Ziemba knew how to refuse the offers

"I think their examples show that the Polish priests could stand for their Church. They did not mind their church career but had other values to defend."

Father Zaleski is publishing a book about the invigilation of the Polish clergy by the communist secret services and devotes much space in it to those who had the courage to refuse the secret services. He is convinced that the case of Archbishop Wielgus has to be very carefully examined since now the archbishop has lost his credibility and may undermine the role he is to play as the Archbishop of the Warsaw diocese.

From this Saturday's edition of Il Giornale (Italian):

"Well - says Father Adam Boniecki, [who was] for eleven years the director of the Polish edition of L'Osservatore Romano - , the Vatican declaration of December 21 seemed strange" and maybe the Pope chose Wielgus without "a complete knowledge of the case. One fact is certain - adds Father Boniecki -, to be an archbishop of Warsaw with this introduction is a horrible thing" and Wielgus could find a way out by himself: "Asking, after a certain time, to be relieved of this charge."


  1. Anonymous2:20 PM

    Once this betrayer is installed as bishop, one cannot claim that we had a secret infiltration of the Church by communists anymore, but an open and accepted undermining of the Church's hierarchical structure. I hope more are "outed" by this. Perhaps he will "name names".

    I wonder how many active and retired priests & bishops are still drawing nice benefits from the parishioners they informed on in previous years?

  2. This is a tremendous and shameful scandal for the Church and must be especially painful for those who suffered under communist oppression in Poland.
    For those bloggers on the other thread who immediately attempted to minimize or downplay this case, shame. One even went so far to react towards those who felt strongly about it by suggesting they had a "Lord of the Rings" complex. After the self admission of guilt and complicity, and exposure of the latest revelations here, I'll hold my breath and wait for an apology.

  3. bona gratia, an apology from whom? from the Pope? AMDG.

  4. One thing's for sure, the French Bishops won't mind Benedict's decision to let the admitted fellow traveller Wieglus be "sworn in" (to quote one media source - Justice of the Peace, Sherriff's Deputy, Roman Catholic Archibishop...same civil process, I guess). So if they complain, there'll be plenty of grist for the conservative mill to quote regarding duplicity, etc. I don't think they will. Besides, he can always cite episcopal Collegiality as his reason for letting the installation go ahead.

    I still think somebody blew a double cover to try to embarrass Benedict, and possibly prevent him from issuing the Motu Proprio. If so, Wieglus would have to claim responsibility or the Russians would kill him for having betrayed THEM. Use your loaf.

  5. Earlier (on thread one) hebdomadry said ...
    I get a distinct impression of double-agency here, and a reassuring sense of precisely who was working for whom. Don't get too bothered by it.

    Talk about a conspiracy theorist... Now, without any basis in fact, and after reading more damning evidence to the contrary, you reiterate that comment while telling everyone to "keep this in perspective," it's really not too big of a deal, move along...and calling people here a "little child." Just what is your point about this scandal and the potential havoc it will reap in Poland and upon the credibility of Pope Benedict XVI.

    Please give us the benefit of your deep knowledge and long experience rather than telling everyone else what they should, and should not, feel about this case.

  6. What is worse in this tragedy is that when Cardinal Glemp reaches 80,Wielgus will become primate of Poland. People never learn.When caught -confess.Dont lie and coverup.The lies are worse than his original travesty.He should remember;Nixon,Clinton,and Law.

  7. Anonymous9:24 PM

    Sacerdos15 is incorrect.Every Primate of Poland since that position was established in 1418 has been the Archbishop of Gniezno and only after World War II was that see temporarily united with that of Warsaw.When the sees were severed again John Paul II provided that Cardinal Glemp would remain primate before the dignity returned to Gniezno again,and Benedict XVI provided for Glemp to remain Primate until he turns 80,but there is neither precedent nor intention for anyone who has ever been Archbishop of Warsaw without being Archbishop of Gniezno being Primate.The only question is whether Archbishop Muszynski of Gniezno (who turns 75 in 2008) remains in office until after Cardinal Glemp turns 80 in 2009,or it is the next Archbishop of Gniezno who is the next Primate.And I have a hunch Muszynski is now a likelier new Cardinal than Wielgus as well.


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