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Pope Francis appoints new primate in Poland

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Wojciech Polak as the new primate, or honorary leader, of Poland's influential Roman Catholic Church.

The 49-year-old Polak succeeds Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk, who resigned in August after reaching the retirement age of 75. Kowalczyk was first papal nuncio in democratic Poland in 1989-2010.

Poland's Episcopate said Saturday that the inauguration ceremony for Polak will be held June 7 in Poland's historic capital of Gniezno, at the cathedral that dates back to the 10th century.

Commentators praised Polak for moderation and openness in responding to media questions in recent months about cases of child sex abuse among priests in Poland.

Once a sign of leadership, the title of primate is now chiefly honorary.

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