Miloslav Cardinal Vlk † Miloslav Cardinal Vlk †
Former Archbishop of Praha, Czechia
Cardinal Priest of S Croce in Gerusalemme
May 17, 1932
Nov 26, 1994
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English Czech Cardinal says Polish Church should do penance
Jan 13, 2007
Polish Catholic bishops should take a joint approach to church dignitaries´ cooperation with former communist secret police and they should call on the Church in Poland to do penance for this, Czech Cardinal Miloslav Vlk said today, reacting to the resignation of the archbishop of Warsaw.

Prague, Jan 9 (CTK) - Stanislaw Wielgus resigned from the post on Sunday, after admitting his cooperation with the secret police under the communist regime. According to public opinion polls, a half of Poles believe that all priests and church dignitaries should undergo screening so that further similar controversies are eliminated.

"If, for example Radio Maryja continued to sweep the whole thing under the carpet, it is impossible to start solving the problem," said Vlk, the Czech Catholic primate and archbishop of Prague.

He thus supported the realists among the Polish Catholic dignitaries against the ultra-conservative stream represented by Radio Maryja, a Polish station defending Wielgus against what it calls "enemies of the church" and "the liberals´ effort to gain control of the capital."

Vlk did not suggest flat screening of Polish priests. He recommended that Polish bishops and priests jointly organise a large national penitent pilgrimage to Czenstochowa and call on the individual priests involved to recognise their guilt and apologise in their minds, and in front of God and church.

Vlk said that Czech Catholics do not want to sweep the cases of Czech priests´ cooperation with the former Communist secret police (StB) under the carpet either. He said he would like many painful fates to be disclosed by those who suffered under StB´s oppression.

"This may show how many managed to resist the pressure, though StB left their names figuring on its list [of cooperators]. It would probably show [Czech] priests´ stands in a positive light. Almost none of them cooperated [with StB] for ideological reasons," Vlk said.

According to speculations, up to several hundreds of Czech Catholic priests might have cooperated with StB before 1989. One of the "suspects" is Ostrava-Opava Bishop Frantisek Lobkowicz, who, however, has dismissed any knowledge of such cooperation.
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