Cardinal Jozef Glemp told several thousand mourners at a funeral service for a priest found in his rectory last weekend that the clergyman had apparently been murdered.
The body of Rev. Stefan Niedzie-lak, provost of the Powazki cemetery, was found Saturday. He was buried at the cemetery Thursday. Officials say he died of a broken neck but have yet to determine the circumstances of his death."He died a violent death," Glemp said Thursday in brief remarks to the crowd in front of the Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic church in northwestern Warsaw.
Poles have been particularly sensitive to the safety of clergymen since the 1984 murder of the Rev. Jerzy Popieluszko, a supporter of the Solidarity trade union movement who was killed by security police.
Niedzielak, 74, maintained a shrine to Poles killed in the Soviet Union and speakers at the service said he served as a chaplain to soldiers in the underground Home Army during the World War II.
Many elderly Poles attended the funeral. Some of the men wore red-and-white armbands lettered with the initials of the underground Home Army, which fought against the Germans during the war.
One woman held up a banner decorated with red-and-white carnations saying, "To the chaplain of Independence."
Police blocked the road leading to the cemetery and dozens of passengers in buses patiently waited for the two-hour service to conclude.
The Rev. Zdiszlaw Krol, chancellor of the Warsaw Curia, called Niedzielak a "great patriot."
Other speakers praised Niedzie-lak's role in preserving the memory of those Poles who died at the hands of the Russians during World War II.