VATICAN CITY, FEB. 21, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Here is the Vatican translation of the letter Benedict XVI wrote to Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus, following his resignation as archbishop of Warsaw. The letter was released today by the Vatican press office.
Archbishop Wielgus admitted his involvement with the Communist secret service and resigned as head of the Warsaw Archdiocese on Jan. 7, the day he was to be installed.
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To Our Most Beloved Brother
Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus
I have read with care Your Excellency’s beautiful letter of last January 8, and warmly thank you for the trust with which you opened your soul to me, showing the painful suffering of your heart during the whole of your life as priest and bishop, up to the resignation of the office of Archbishop of Warsaw.
In this last period I have shared in your sufferings and wish to assure you of my spiritual closeness and fraternal understanding.
In regard to the past, I am fully aware of the exceptional circumstances in which you carried out your service, when the Communist regime in Poland used all means to suffocate the liberties of citizens and, in a special way, of the clergy.
As Rector of the University of Lublin, and as Bishop of Plock, you have given proof of great devotion and profound love of Jesus Christ and of his Church.
When you presented your resignation a month ago, aware that the situation created did not allow you to begin the episcopal service with the indispensable authority, I saw clearly in this act a profound sensitivity for the good of the Church of Warsaw and of Poland, and also your humility and detachment from offices.
Above all I would like to encourage you to continue with confidence and serenity in your heart. I express the desire that you resume your activity at the service of Christ, in the way that is possible, so that you use your vast and profound knowledge and priestly devotion for the good of the beloved Church in Poland.
Today, as in the past, the episcopal mission is marked by suffering. May Our Lord sustain you with his grace. Of help also will by the friendship of brother bishops and of persons who have known and esteemed you.
With heartfelt sentiment, remembering you in constant prayer before the Lord and the Most Holy Virgin Mary, I impart to you from my heart a special Apostolic Blessing in the hope of abundant grace from heaven.
From the Vatican, February 12, 2007
[Translation of the Italian original issued by the Vatican press office]