.- The highest ranking official of the Catholic Church in the Czech Republic, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, has welcomed the decision of Archbishop Stanislav Wielgus to offer his resignation as Archbishop of Warsaw following his admission of past connections with the former Communist regime of Poland.
“I think that it is a correct attitude, in light of the possible consequences for the Church’s credibility,” Cardinal Vlk said, pointing to similar cases which have arisen in the Czech Republic.
According to the Prelate, who suffered persecution during the days of communist rule, in the files of the former Czech Secret Police, known as one of the most brutal and repressive organizations of the Soviet Bloc, are names of priests who collaborated with the regime. Though, he pointed out, the Church has emphasized that it is difficult to blame all collaborators considering the violent methods, including torture, which the Secret Police used to “recruit” members of the clergy.
Martin Horalek, spokesman of the Bishops Conference of the Czech Republic, told Radio Prague that the Czech Roman Catholic Church judged each case on an individual basis.
"The most important thing is to differentiate between individual cases. So in one case you might have a priest who succumbed to enormous systematic pressure and signed a formal agreement on collaboration with the secret police, but never actually informed on anyone. In another…a person entered the Church as an agent of the secret police, with the explicit aim of informing on his colleagues," Horalek said.