|Poland||CARDINAL APOLOGISES FOR PRIESTS' COMMUNIST-ERA FAILURES|
Cardinal Jozef Glemp of Warsaw apologised on behalf of the Polish church for communist-era collaboration by Catholic priests, as well as for anti-Semitism and luxury lifestyles among the country's clergy.
He added that he regretted his fear when Poland was under martial law in 1981-83 and his failure to save the life of Father Jerzy Popieluszko, an outspoken priest who spoke in favour of the Solidarity movement.
``Living in truth means recognising our weaknesses, our faithlessness and our violations of God's and the church's law,'' the cardinal said at an open-air Mass on Saturday in Warsaw's Theatre Square.
``We should not confess to sins committed by others. But we cannot be silent about evil and about the fires that sparked the evil which stains our vestments,'' he said.
However, he added that some had also been ``importuned or blackmailed'' into supporting communism, while others had shown a ``far-reaching loyalty'' to communist power ``for the sake of a quiet life or a few wretched coins.''
``I urge regret for all those priests who lost their love for people and extended their own private life too far, concentrating on trips or comfortable apartments instead of sacrificing their time for the poor,'' Cardinal Glemp said.
The apology for sins committed by church members follows similar statements by bishops' conferences in France, Lithuania, Germany, Austria and Brazil, in response to Pope John Paul II's appeal for an examination of conscience by the church to mark the year 2000.
|24 May 00|