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January 11, 2007



I really don't even know what to make of all this. Is the upshot that Benedict named this guy because he knew him from the past? If so, I don't like what this portends. You still need the old axiom: trust, but verify, no matter how fond your memories of a past meeting were. And what's Cardinal Re's involvement?

Jack Bennett

Janice, but isn't that always the case when a new Pope comes into power? The old regime is swept away to be replaced by trusted friends of the new pope - so JP2's largely Polish and Italian contigent are replaced by the likes of Levada and Bertone - men who had worked with and were trusted by Joseph Ratzinger...and sometimes that trust could be betrayed as seems to be the case here or in the case of disasterous JP2 appointments like Groer in Austria or the current Abp. of Liechtenstein who was so disliked by his Swiss diocese that the Archdiocese of Liechtenstein was created almost soley so they could transfer him without losing face (or so I've read).


Good points, Jack, but JPII's disastrous episcopal appointments went on year after year. I hope Benedict steps up a bit here and starts vetting his "friends." Because in the Vatican, to paraphrase Harry Truman, if you want a friend, get a dog ((or in Benedict's case, a cat).


I thought the point on the previous thread about Wielgus being on the board of Polish Communio interesting enough to hit the link. But, you can be on the board of an academic journal and have nothing to do with it. Being on the masthead and being part of the 'club' are not identical.

I suspect it's right that Re betrayed Benedict's trust, because, even before I read Magister on Chiesa, I was thinking that no one I know who has met Cardinal Re has anything good to say about him. Rather the reverse.



You've got that right. And Benedict probably should have replaced him when he became Pope. It's like what happened when Lyndon Johnson became President and didn't replace the old Kennedy staff. It's the worst mistake he made and Benedict is doing the same thing. Plus, as you said, Re is a slimey character.

Father Elijah

See if this can help Janice-

in the last paragraph of the blog Amy 'copied' from Magister

"Benedict XVI had never heard these things before from the man in whom he had placed such trust for the Catholic Poland of the great Wyszynski [Cardinal Primate of Warsaw-Poland for several decades during Poland's Soviet Communist enslavement] and Wojtyla [Pope John Paul II formerly Cardinal of Cracow Poland]"

Pope Benedict did not know about all this 'stuff" about Wielgus. Remember Bishop Wielgus had already been 'cleared' by the process of selecting bishops back some years ago BUT that all happened before all this secret police compromising info came out in general. He had already passed 'muster', he was a scholar, he certainly seemed to be fine from info sent from the Apostolic Nuncio in Poland----but he was NOT fine! When questions started coming out in Poland about his suspected involvement apparently there was some kind of conversation between Bishop Wielgus and Cardinal Re and/or the Pope himself---but my sense is from real informed sources-that Bishop Wielgus in some way either denied outright or did not fully disclose all his involvement with the Polish secret police to "Rome".

One thing not clear to me is just WHAt was his involvement with the secret police. Obviously it must be more than saying "hi" of their knowing his name [they knew everyon'es name]

WHat is even sadder/or enraging [depending on one's feelings] is that even when it all came out he wrote a letter [I am reading this in the above blog] to the Archdiocese of Warsaw asking them to still receive/accept him as their archbishop.

The final straw came when all the secret documents that had been published in Poland in Polish were sent in a German translation to the Pope-----who then ordered the bishop to resign!

To answer what I think you are asking---Pope Benedict and Cardinal Re trusted the process that had been in place-when Bishop Wielgus was even named a bishop-then just went with the sense he was a good candidate for Warsaw given his pastoral and academic background.

For your own interest it might be helpful to lease "To Kill a Priest" [the title makes my flesh crawl] It is about Father Jerzy Populoosko (oooooo I know I murdered his name :() It shows how secret police hounded priests and in this case hounded him to death!

What REALLY bothers me (Father Jerzy was roughly my age) is this bishop as a scholar was cooperating with the same gangsters who murdered one of our own fellow priests-oh not the actual men but the organization

May God have mercy on his soul!


Thank you, Father Elijah. That does clear it up. I forgot about the previous selection process. The whole thing DOES make you think, if you can't trust your fellow priests, it's a very bad place to be in. I would like to know more about his involvement. I hope they publish something.


I guess you wonder about that. Wielgus was a bishop since 1999. Why would being made Archbishop of Warsaw make this an issue. If what he did was bad it should have caused scandal when he was Bishop of Polk. So the system had broken down long before the appointment process has started.

Father Elijah


This scandal is similar to the sexual abouse crisis-not much was thought of or known before 2002--but of course now it is wide open. Apparently in Poland, this 'involvement' of some-they claim less than 10% of the clergy with the secret police was not well known-if it was known at all before several months ago, when the story started to come out.

I feel badly for the Catholic Church in Poland. They are about to go through something similar that we in the USA did during the sexual abuse crisis. Again a minority, a small fraction of clergy are involved (as here in the States) but clergy and laity will now have to endure this terrible tragedy

Has something like this happened before? Yes! In the Nazi occupation of France things were very confusing. Remember there was a puppet regime of Vichy, with their own police and then of course the Gestapo. Clergy were compromised. Pope Pius XII sent in one of his best Bishops from the diplomatic corps to Paris to deal with the crisis and sort stuff out (and clean up the mess) his name was archbishop Roncalli [now we know him as Blessed Pope John XXIII]

The human condition is very fragile. Original sin has taken its toll on all of us, even the baptized :( When push comes to shove we are all sinners needing the constant mercy of our heavenly Father and Redemption through Christ.
Being ordained does not absent 'you' from this-in fact the ordained are under worse spiritual attack. That's why we priests need the Lord and his grace, and need our brothers and sisters in the laity to pray for us daily.

Susan Peterson

PRF whatever it is, is apparently another site blocked by SSA, as containing hate speech, etc, according to the screen which comes up.

I'll look at it at home.

Father Elijah's wise contributions are appreciated here, as on many other threads.
Susan Peterson


Oh whatever . . . who here has NOT cooperated with evil?


I read all the articles on Teresa's page and all the others. I still don't understand how John Paul was allowed to travel as much as he did without having to compromise himself.

I understand that he had no relatives that they could put in jail and no money or property to lose, but what was their motive in signing a passport and visa for him with nothing in return from him?

Just asking.


According to Mr. Allen, "some read the Wielgus decision as another sign that under Benedict XVI, there will be greater accountability for misconduct."

So, we'll be seeing this memo soon:

The Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California, USA

The Bishop of Orange in California
Orange, California, USA,

Your Eminence,
Your Excellency,

You're fired.


Your Holy Father
The Apostolic Palace


The communists hoped that there would be division between Wyszynski and Wojtyla and so cause chaos in the church. Never happened because Wojtyla greatly respected the Primate and was always loyal to him. Wojtyla was supposed to attend the first Synod of Bishops but when Wyszynski was denied a passport, Wojtyla declined to attend in solidarity with the Primate.

I was just reading a story that in 1978 the secret police had a plan in place to try and manipulate the succession of Primate (Cardinal Wyszynski was seriously ill). They were most concerned that Wojtyla would become Primate after the death of Wyszynski and didn't want it to happen - they considered him very dangerous to them. All of it never came to pass because Wojtyla was elected Pope and Wyszynski didn't die until 1981.

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