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Polish Archbishop Asks Special Court to Investigate Spy Charges


The former Warsaw archbishop has asked a special court to investigate allegations that he cooperated with the communist-era security forces.

Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus resigned last month after acknowledging that he had agreed to cooperate with the security services, although his lawyer says he never really collaborated with the authorities.

A special court judge told reporters Tuesday that Archbishop Wielgus asked the panel to help clear his name of spy charges.

Wielgus resigned on January 7, just minutes before he was to be ceremonially installed as archbishop during a special Mass.

Church officials in Poland said they will thoroughly investigate the past of its top clergy for evidence of collaboration with communist-era security police.

The staunchly anti-communist Cardinal Jozef Glemp has been archbishop of Warsaw for more than 25 years.

A church commission said it had found numerous documents confirming that Wielgus consciously and willingly collaborated with the security organizations of communist Poland. But Vatican authorities said there is no clear proof he harmed anyone.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.