Thursday, March 1, 2007

Tortured Priest's Tenacity Exposes Betrayal in Church

From the Star Tribune:

Eighteen months ago, the Rev. Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski, heard a startling report on the radio.

Communist-era files thought to have been destroyed years ago had in fact been preserved, the report said. They chronicled obsessive efforts by the SB, the regime's despised security police, to intimidate or compromise Roman Catholic clergy who were lending moral support to the Solidarity trade union movement.

One of the thickest files, according to the radio report, was Zaleski's.

Four days later, the priest went to the Institute of National Remembrance and asked to see his file. It was 500 pages long, and included a videotape of a 1985 torture session during which a gang of SB goons used cigarettes to tattoo a Solidarity "V" on Zaleski's chest. The SB apparently used the tape as a training tool.

Despite warnings from the church to let the matter rest, Zaleski continued to dig into the files. The result is a book to be published this week that will identify 39 clergymen in the Krakow archdiocese, including five bishops, who served as SB informants or collaborators.