Saturday 30.04.2005, CET 01:27
April 29, 2005 10:50 AM
Priest denies spying on Pope John Paul
"I was never an agent. You can call me foolish or naive, but not a spy ," Father Konrad Hejmo said in comments published in Italian newspaper La Repubblica on Friday.
A Polish state agency overseeing communist-era files said that Hejmo, who looked after Polish pilgrims coming to the
Hejmo said a Polish agent based in
"This agent also gave me money via the priests," Hejmo told La Repubblica, adding that the agent had died of cancer.
Hejmo did not specify why he thought he was given the money. The paper quoted him as saying he was hard-up and "there were kind-hearted priests who gave me money".
The Polish National Remembrance Institute, which oversees and carries out research into the communist files, said it had evidence Hejmo was a conscious informer of the SB security service.
The SB tried to infiltrate the Church in the 1980s over its support for the Polish anti-communist opposition, led by the then-banned Solidarity movement.
The Polish Catholic Church has demanded a thorough investigation into the accusations.
The allegation dismayed many Poles. The pope, who died on April 2, was revered in his homeland as an unrivalled moral guide and played a major role in bringing down communism in
Hejmo's religious order, the Dominicans, said their Polish chief Father Maciej Zieba would travel to
John Paul had links with the democratic opposition while an archbishop in