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Poles denounce archbishop spy

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Calls for the dismissal of Monsignor Stanislaw Wielgus, the new Archbishop of Warsaw, mounted yesterday after he was challenged to say whether he had supplied intelligence to the secret police about the late Pope John Paul II.

Wielgus, 67, has confessed to spying for the Polish security service, Sluzba Bezpieczenstwa, during the cold war until the communist regime collapsed in 1989. He met police agents more than 50 times in one five-year period during the 1970s.

La Repubblica, the leading Rome newspaper, said: “Atrocious suspicions are emerging: who was spied on by the police thanks to Wielgus? Perhaps even Karol Wojtyla, at first the brave young cardinal of Krakow and moral leader of dissent, later the Pope who challenged Moscow and knocked down the (Berlin) Wall?” Father Adam Boniecki, former editor of the Polish edition of Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, said that Wielgus “would do best to resign immediately”.


Most of the church hierarchy plan to attend but there are notable exceptions. Tadeusz Goclowski, the progressive Archbishop of Gdansk, is not coming. He pleaded “other obligations”. Yesterday he told the press that Wielgus ought to ask the Vatican to relieve him from office.

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