Poles say farewell to Cardinal Jozef Glemp
January 29, 2013
President Komorowski at funeral
Cardinal Jozef Glemp, the former head of Poland's Roman Catholic Church who helped steer the country through a transition from communism to democracy, was buried Monday in a funeral ceremony in Warsaw attended by hundreds of mourners including top officials.
Glemp was buried in the crypt of St John the Baptist’s Cathedral, the final resting place of many prominent Poles, church leaders, politicians and writers.
In a speech during the elaborate funeral ceremony, President Bronislaw Komorowski praised Glemp for his “deep patriotism” but also for his ability to “calmly assess what was in the state’s and the nation’s interests.”
Glemp, who died at the age of 83 on Wednesday, urged calm when the country’s communist rulers imposed martial law in 1981.
His emphasis on consensus earned him criticism from some supporters of the Solidarity movement who favored harder opposition to the communist regime.
“During the dramatic period under martial law, he wanted to prevent Poland from seeing brotherly blood being spilled,” Komorowski said.
Glemp also led the Roman Catholic Church in Poland when communism finally collapsed here in 1989 and in the run-up to the country joining the EU in 2004.
He was Primate of Poland for most of the papacy of the Polish-born Pope John Paul II, who was elected pontiff in 1978.