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Warsaw archbishop steps down over past cooperation with Polish secret police


BERLIN (RNS ) ó Instead of celebrating his appointment as archbishop of Warsaw on Jan. 7, Stanislaw Wielgus gave up his office after confirming media reports that he had collaborated with Polandís secret police in the 1960s and 1970s.

Allegations that Wielgus cooperated with the secret police were first published in the anti-communist magazine Gazeta Polska, shortly after Pope Benedict XVI appointed Wielgus as archbishop of Warsaw. The issue largely simmered until Jan. 4, when more mainstream publications printed the allegations with quotes from government documents.

According to the newspapers, Wielgus cooperated regularly with the SB, the Polish secret service, between 1968 and 1973. With the SBís help, he traveled to Germany in 1973, apparently with directions to report on the activities of the Polish exile community in Germany.

It is unclear if Wielgusí assistance led to the punishment of any dissidents.