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In the spotlight: Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski

5th June 2006
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Father Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski, a Polish-Armenian, has in the last months sparked a row on vetting in the Catholic Church.

The church, which played a significant role in battling communism and preserving traditional and national values both during the partitions of Poland and in the communist era, has so far been untouchable when it came to vetting and disclosing former collaborators with the secret police, the SB.


Isakowicz-Zaleski was a member of student movements in Kraków in the late 1970s and a Solidarity priest in Kraków's Nowa Huta district in the 1980s. He was harassed by the communist state for his activities. He initiated the current debate on the church's past in February this year when he received his SB file from the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) and revealed the names of some of those who had informed on him.


Since February, Isakowicz-Zaleski has been researching the church's role in communism and tried to get church officials to help him take a stand on the issue of priests collaborating with the SB. Receiving no answer from the church, he decided to reveal the results of his research independently. However, last week the Archbishop of Kraków, Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz forbade him to go public, and instead established the church's own commission to deal with the issue.



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