Vatican City, Dec 20, 2009 / 10:33 am
After Sunday's Angelus in Vatican City, Pope Benedict XVI congratulated the new primate of the Polish church, Archbishop Henryk Muszynski. The archbishop takes the place of Cardinal Jozef Glemp.
Cardinal Glemp served in an interim role as the primate of the Polish church, but as of his 80th birthday on Friday, the reins have been handed over to Archbishop Muszynski. Commenting on the new appointment for the Archbishop of Gniezno, Benedict said, "This honorary title returns to the oldest Metropolan Diocese in Polish lands, tied to the devotion to Saint Adalbert, Patron of Poland." Until 1981, the primate of the Polish Church had always been the Archbishop of Gniezno.
Benedict XVI thanked Cardinal Glemp for "carrying out his primatial mision in the difficult period of transition."
Cardinal Glemp had been the primate of the Catholic Church in Poland since 1981, which spanned a time of great transition in Poland due to the fall of communism in 1989.