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News – Poland’s bishop collaborators

August 2007

Poland’s bishop collaborators

Poland’s Roman Catholic Church has admitted that at least 10% of its bishops informed state officials about their congregations and fellow bishops during Poland’s communist era.

Secret police files from the period show that police had most of the bishops in question registered as collaborators, while one was listed as an intelligence agent of the secret service. 90% of Poland’s 40 million people belong to the Catholic Church.

The announcement follows an enquiry into the relationship between Poland’s secret service and the Catholic Church, in the wake of Warsaw’s new Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus confessing he had been a collaborator and resigning. Other senior church figures have stepped down from their positions.

Of the 12 bishops whose files reveal contact with the secret police, none have been named and confusion is said to exist because the quality of some files is poor. The church appeared to take an active role in the fight against communism in Poland, particularly during the time of Polish Pope John Paul II.
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