Thursday, January 04, 2007

Gold, Frankincense... and Mired

As Archbishop-elect Stanislaw Wojech Wielgus prepares for his Saturday installation in Warsaw, controversy over his alleged involvement in the Communist regime has deepened.

NCR's John Allen reports:

Wielgus said the only thing he was ever asked to do was to specify his agenda during foreign academic meetings, and to promise not to take part in anti-Communist activity.

That version of Wielgus’ past has been contradicted by some media reports.

Polish journalists asserted yesterday that documents obtained from Poland’s Institute of National Memory show Wielgus operated under the codename “Grey,” that he underwent special training for secret service agents, and even that at one point he attempted to infiltrate Radio Free Europe.

“He was one of the most important collaborators of the communist intelligence in the Church,” said Tomasz Sakiewicz, editor of the Gazeta Polska newspaper, on Polish radio.

Two separate commissions are now examining the files pertaining to Wielgus, one organized by Polish civic groups and another under the aegis of the Polish bishops’ conference. Wielgus himself asked the latter to look into the documents.