.- The Roman Catholic bishops’ conference of Russia urged the Church and its members to respect the decision made by Stanislaw Wojciech Wielgus to resign from his recent nomination as Archbishop of Warsaw.
The cleric resigned following accusations of collaborating with government authorities during the Communist regime.
The bishops’ conference told Interfax it will refrain from making “hasty conclusions” about his resignation.
"The Church should not become like a crowd shouting 'crucify him'," said Fr. Igor Kovalevsky, general secretary of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in Russia, in an interview with Interfax.
"Despite reasons of some priests to collaborate with special services, their dignity cannot be humiliated. In particular, hasty conclusions and accusations should not be made," he continued.
Fr. Kovalevsky admitted that the collaboration of priests with government authorities "has often been disastrous to the Church and worshipers.” However, each case should be considered individually, he insisted.
The priest recalled that the Catholic Church "was oppressed and sometimes persecuted" in some countries in Soviet times. The Church managed to maintain independence in Poland, but the state frequently exerted great pressure on priests as well, he said.