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May 24, 2024

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Canada’s Minister Kenney Issues Statement
On Death of Cardinal Glemp

Min_Kenney_official_photoforwebCanada – I was saddened to hear of the death of His Eminence Cardinal Józef Glemp, the former Primate of Poland and Archbishop of Warsaw, on Wednesday at the age of 83.

Cardinal Glemp was an eminent figure in the history of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland, having guided the Polish Church through a very difficult period in its history.

As a close associate of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, and later Blessed John Paul II, he was entrusted with a key responsibility as Archbishop of Gniezno in 1981, which made him Primate of Poland.

As head of the Polish Bishops’ conference, he was to lead his flock through a time of severe Communist repression during the 19 month period of Martial Law. While he was often under pressure to take political positions, he steadfastly remained focused on the spiritual well-being of the faithful, knowing that this was the key to defeating the morally bankrupt Communist regime.

When the Jaruzelski regime finally fell in 1989, His Eminence Cardinal Glemp led the revival of the Polish Church in free Poland, leaving a proud legacy of accomplishments including the construction of the National Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw. In 2009, His Eminence received a well-deserved Order of the White Eagle for his contributions to the Polish nation from the hands of President Lech Kaczynski, who later died tragically.

Cardinal Glemp belonged to that generation of Polish leaders who had to rebuild a Poland deeply scarred by the experience of two totalitarian empires, the legacy of brutal war, the execution of the Holocaust in their midst, and a public life built on lies. He made his own remarkable contribution to this difficult task of historical recovery, cultural restoration and reconciliation between peoples.

Today I join Canada’s Polish community and the people of Poland in mourning the passing of this remarkable religious leader, and in praying for the repose of his soul.

– NHQ-Minister’s Office – Citizenship and Immigration Canada