To a mixture of applause and cries of alarm, the controversial Archbishop of Warsaw stepped down. Stanislaw Wielgus has succumbed to the enormous pressure to quit after he admitted spying for Poland’s former communist regime. In what should have been the defining moment of his career, Wielgus was due today to be officially installed as Archbishop of Warsaw.
Instead he told the gathered crowd of dignitaries for the special mass ceremony that he was resigning. Despite his past activities, Wielgus was given the full backing of Pope Benedict when he was nominated last month. But the Vatican reportedly changed its stance on Friday after his consecration when he said he had collaborated with security agents, but denied informing on priests. Wielgus was meant to succeed the retiring anti-communist Cardinal Josef Glemp, who will now temporarily take back the position.