09 January 2007, 10:10
Russian Catholics respect Polish bishop's decision to resign
Moscow, January 9, Interfax - The authorities of the Russain Catholic community have called to abstain from hasty conclusions on the personality of Stanislaw Wojciech Wielgus, a recently elected Archbishop of Warsaw, who resigned following accusations of collaborating with special services.
"Despite reasons of some priests to collaborate with special services, their dignity cannot be humiliated, in particular hasty conclusions and accusations should not be made," General Secretary of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in Russia Igor Kovalevsky told Interfax.
On the other hand, the collaboration of priests with special services of any country "has often been disastrous to the Church and worshipers," he said.
"One should look into every case and then make conclusions on the reasoning, was it of patriotic or any other nature," the priest said.
One should also bear in mind that the Catholic Church "was oppressed and sometimes persecuted" in some Eastern European countries in the Soviet times, he said. The Catholic Church managed to maintain the independence in Poland to a great extent; however, the state frequently exerted heavy pressure on priests as well, he said.
"The Church should not become like a crowd shouting 'crucify him' in its means," he priest said, urging to respect Wielgus's independent decision to resign.
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