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Jozef Glemp
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Religious Figure
    (December 18, 1929-January 23, 2013)
    Born in Inowrocław, Poznań , Poland
    Polish Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church
    Archbishop of Warsaw (1981-2006)
    Ordinary of the Ordinariate for the Faithful of the Eastern Rites in Poland (1981-2007)
    Ordained in 1956, serving as parish priest and teacher in Rome before returning to his native Poland
    Served as legal adviser to Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski for 12 years (1964-1976)
    Appointed to Primate by Pope John Paul II in 1981
    Elevated to the status of Cardinalate in 1983
    Apostolic Administrator of Warsaw (2007)
    Caused an international outcry after calling for cancellation of an agreement to remove a convent at the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in the late 1980s
    Retired as Archbishop of Warsaw in 2006, having surrendered the Archdiocese of Gniezno in a reorganization in 1992
    His quiet demeanor contrasted sharply his more dynamic predecessor, the popular Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski.
    He frustrated many Polish Catholics by taking a neutral stance during the Communist upheaval; claiming that his mission was the preservation of the church, not the overthrow of Communist rule.
    He called Lech Walesa's 1995 Presidential opponent Aleksander Kwasniewski a 'neo-pagan' (one who handily ousted the incumbent).
    He was accused of espousing anti-Semitic rhetoric during the heated debate over the appropriateness of building a convent near Auschwitz.
    Biographers have since theorized that the root of the problem was his approaching the Convent issue from a legal perspective, without weighing the moral and symbolic implications that came with it.
    Most of the controversy surrounded a Homily he delivered at a Jasna Gora monastery, requesting for the Jewish community to 'not talk with us from the position of a people raised above all others, and do not dictate conditions that are impossible to fulfill.'
    Alan Dershowitz paraphrased the Homily as accusing Jews of 'plying [Polish] peasants with alcohol,' 'spreading communism,' and 'controlling the mass-media in many countries' (in all fairness taking Cardinal Glemp's words out of context).
    He refused to back down from his comments until the Vatican reaffirmed the Pope’s determination to move the convent to another location.
    The controversy resurfaced during his 1991 tour of the United States, where he encountered mobs of protesters and met pressure from Jewish-American leaders to retract his statements.
    He was accused of anti-Semitism again in 2001, when he refused to accompany President Kwasniewski to the village of Jedwabne, the site of a 1941 massacre of 1,600 Jews, claiming to disavow 'ostentatious penance' and 'contrition' imposed by 'politicians.'
    His father worked for the Polish resistance during the Nazi occupation of Poland.
    This resulted in the Nazis subjecting him to forced slave labor, along with his mother, sister and two brothers.
    He studied canon law at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome (1958).
    He earned his doctorate in utroque iure from the same University (1964).
    He defended Stanislaw Wielgus from accusations of collaborating with the KGB.
    He criticized the Catholic Radio Maryja for creating a rift in Poland's religious community with anti-Semitic rhetoric (2005).
    Much of the outrage directed at him was less over the expressed sentiment than it was 'the way he said it.'
    He eventually acknowledged why he understood how his Homily would have been deemed offensive, and later apologized.
    He was credited with helping to peacefully steer Poland through a historic transition from Communism to democracy.
    Examples included his preserving the peace during both Poland's martial law declaration of 1981 and in the aftermath of the assassination of the dissident Priest, Jerzy Popieluszko, in 1984.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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