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Polish church leader quits over spy row

Polish church leader quits over spy row
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To a mixture of applause and shouting, Polish Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus has resigned after admitting spying for Poland’s former communist regime. He was due to be officially installed as Archbishop of Warsaw at this special mass ceremony in the capital this morning.

On Friday he said he had had contacts with security agents, but denied informing on priests. Despite his past activities, Wielgus was given the full backing of Pope Benedict when he was nominated last month by the Vatican. Wielgus was meant to succeed the retiring anti-communist Cardinal Josef Glemp, who will now temporarily take back the position. The row over Wielgus’ appointment has been described as the most serious and embarrassing crisis in the Polish Church in recent times with the country divided by the decision.