Pope John Paul II exposed by spy...
Priest Accused Of Vatican Spying
(AP) The priest in charge of caring for Polish pilgrims
at the Vatican collaborated with the communist secret police in the 1980s during
the reign of Polish native Pope John Paul II, an official said Wednesday.
An investigation into communist-era persecution of the Roman Catholic church in Poland turned up documents showing that the Rev. Konrad Stanislaw Hejmo, a Dominican, "was a secret collaborator of the Polish secret services under the names of Hejnal and Dominik," said Leon Kieres, head of the state-run National Remembrance Institute that investigated Nazi and communist crimes in Poland.
Hejmo, 69, was close to John Paul's entourage but not part of his inner circle. He could not immediately be reached for comment by The Associated Press.
Polish state television reported that he denied the allegations, and it broadcast audio of a phone interview in which he said, "There could have been some recordings tied, glued together ... It is hard for me to say now, I am not really aware now what this is."
It was not immediately clear what recordings he might have referred to.
Hejmo's Dominican superior, the Rev. Maciej Zieba, said he saw the files, which he termed "convincing and shocking."
Andrzej Paczkowski, a historian at the institute, said the files contain about 700 pages and cover the years through the 1980s.
The Vatican said it had no comment.
"We are still not sure of the type of the cooperation, whether he was simply talking about the Holy Father with the secret services or was actually providing secret information on him," Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek told The Associated Press. "If he was providing information, then this would be a very sad truth."
John Paul inspired resistance to Poland's communist rule and is credited by many with helping bring about its collapse in 1989.