Catholic World News News Feature
New Archbishop of Warsaw chosen? March 01, 2007
A Polish newspaper is reporting that Pope Benedict XVI has chosen the next Archbishop of Warsaw, touching off a new round of speculation about his identity.
The daily Rzeczpospolita claims that the Holy Father has already signed papers approving the nomination of a successor to Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus, who resigned in January just prior to his scheduled installation. Although the identity of the Pope’s chosen candidate is unknown, the newspaper says that the announcement will come soon, with installation likely before Easter.
The Vatican did not comment on the Polish newspaper report. The Vatican does not respond to speculation about the appointment of bishops.
Last week another Polish newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza, reported that three prelates had been selected as the final candidates for the Warsaw post: Archbishop Jozef Michalik of Przemysl, the president of the Polish bishops’ conference; Bishop Kazimierz Nycz of Koszalin-Kolobrzeg, a former auxiliary in Krakow, and Archbishop Henryk Hoser, the secretary of the Pontifical Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
In reporting that a new archbishop had been selected, Rzeczpospolita did not indicate whether Pope Benedict had chosen one of those reported finalists. The Pope has the authority either to select one of the three candidates presented to him as possibilities, or to make his own selection.
Rzeczpospolita reported that the list of three candidates-- known as a terna-- was not prepared by the usual process. Ordinarily the apostolic nuncio in a country would send a terna to the Pope after consultation with other bishops in the country. In this case, the newspaper said, because the selection process has already consumed so much time, the Congregation for Bishops selected the final candidates. This unusual selection process, according to Rzeczpospolita, accounts for the inclusion of Archbishop Hoser, who is little known in his native land but highly regarded at the Vatican.
The other two prelates whose names reportedly appear on the terna have each been cleared during preliminary investigations of collaboration with the Polish Communist regime. Archbishop Michalik was registered by the secret police as an asset, but apparently the archbishop was unaware of that fact, and there is no information that he acted as an informer. Bishop Nycz was contacted by the secret police on numerous occasions but never cooperated.