Benedict blesses Wielgus and encourages return to ministry

Saying that he was fully aware of the circumstances in which resigned Warsaw Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus served under the former Polish communist regime, Pope Benedict has encouraged the prelate to return to active ministry.

Monsters and Critics reports that Pope Benedict also gave a "special apostolic blessing" to Archbishop Wielgus, who has been accused of collaborating with communist-era intelligence services.

"Regarding the past, I am fully aware of the extraordinary circumstances in which his Excellency carried out his service, when the Marxist regime in Poland was using all means to suppress citizen's rights, especially those of the clergy," Pope Benedict wrote in a letter to Wielgus, published on Tuesday a Polish news agency.

The Pope also encouraged 67-year-old Wielgus to return to his religious duties.

Wielgus made headlines in January when, instead of being inducted as the new Archbishop of Warsaw, he shocked the faithful gathered for the ceremony at Warsaw Cathedral by reading aloud his resignation, prompted by allegations he had collaborated with the secret police in communist Poland.

The controversy erupted amid an unprecedented wave of soul searching in the Church regarding priests who led double lives under communism as secret police spies.

Polish intelligence warned Pope John Paul II of threat

Meanwhile, an article in the Canada Free Press claims that Polish Military Intelligence services passed a warning to Pope John Paul II's private secretary, then Msgr Stanislaw Dziwisz, of a plot by Turkish extreme-right Grey Wolves to assassinate the late Pope.

However, according to the source quoted by writer, David Dastych, Msgr Dziwisz did not believe that anybody would dare to shoot the Pope amid the crowds of faithful on St Peter's Square, and that the Pope was well protected inside the Vatican.

John Paul II was also reluctant to wear a bullet-proof jacket and he insisted on using his open-roof "popemobile" while making tours of the Square and meeting people, Dastych says.

Pope blesses archbishop tarnished by communist spy allegations (Monsters and critics, 20/7/07)
General Giuseppe Cucchi Confirms New Evidence (Canada Free Press, 20/2/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Stanislaw Wielgus (Wikipedia)

Truth hurts, Polish bishops admit (CathNews, 15/1/07)
Russian Catholics warn against rush to judgment as Polish bishops meet (CathNews, 10/1/07)
Wielgus misled Pope by failure to disclose communist-era links: reports (CathNews, 9/1/07)
New Warsaw Archbishop resigns over collaboration allegations (CathNews, 8/1/07)
Polish Cardinal says sorry over "super spy" slur (CathNews, 15/11/06)
Polish spies in John Paul II assassination attempt (CathNews, 13/10/06)
Cardinal claims Vatican priests spied on John Paul II (CathNews, 6/9/06)

21 Feb 2007