Poland: on having no fear of truth

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jan 09, 2007

George Weigel, who is a regular visitor to Poland as well as a perceptive commentator on Catholic affairs, hits nails on heads in a Newsweek reflection on the Wielgus affair. Weigel argues that a thorough, systematic investigation of Communist-era records would reflect credit on the Catholic Church. Yes, some clerics were compromised by the regime. But some people in all walks of life were compromised; it wasn't easy to keep clear of a prying, intrusive government. What's remarkable is that most clerics managed to do exactly that. As Weigel puts it:

When all is said and done, it may be that some 10 percent of Poland’s clergy were suborned by the SB, in varying degrees of complicity (and turpitude). But that is itself a compliment to the Polish church, when one considers that estimates of collaboration with the East German secret police, the Stasi, approach 50 percent of the entire population of the old German Democratic Republic.

Shining light on the archives, then, would accomplish two things: The miscreants would be identified, while the stalwart majority would be cleared of suspicions.

Yet within the Polish hierarchy there is strong opposition to such a thorough investigation fo the past. As long as that opposition continues, the innocent majority will remain under suspicion, while the guilty minority may escape detection.

It makes no sense. The logic is perverse. But to American readers it should all sound painfully familiar.

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