01/07/2007, 00.00
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Pope accepts resignation of Warsaw archbishop

Accused of collaborating with the past Communist regime, the archbishop admitted his “mistakes” but denied ever causing anyone harm.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Archbishop of Warsaw, Mgr Stanislaw Wielgus, has stepped down and the Pope has accepted his resignation. This brings to a close, at least for the moment, an incident that ignited division and confusion among the faithful in Warsaw and the rest of Poland. Mgr Wielgus was accused of collaboration with the former Communist regime. He admitted that he had had to cooperate with the secret police however he denied ever harming or causing harm to be done to anyone. A recently issued Vatican statement talked about mistakes and pardon.


But in these days, the imminence of the installation ceremony of the new archbishop saw the spread of rumours and the leaking of documents. On the eve of the ceremony, Mgr Wieglus, asking pardon for errors made, said: “I never informed on anyone and never tried to hurt anyone in deed or in words.” And he added: “The fact of my involvement has harmed the Church.”


However the statement by Mgr Wieglus did not stop the controversy and today, a note from the Apostolic Nunciature in Poland was issued in the Vatican. “His Excellency Mgr Stanislaw Wielgus, Metropolitan Archbishop of Warsaw, on the day in which his installation in the basilica cathedral was supposed to take place, to start his pastoral ministry in the Church of Warsaw, submitted his resignation to His Holiness Benedict XVI from canonical office in accordance with can. 401 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law. The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus and has appointed His Eminence Cardinal Józef Glemp, Primate of Poland, Diocesan Administrator of Warsaw until new provisions are made.”


This morning in Warsaw, believers gathered outside the cathedral to protest Mgr Wieglus’ announcement that he had renounced his appointment as new archbishop of Warsaw, yelling “Stay with us”.

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