Polish church leader denounces priest wishing Pope Francis' death

A leader of the Polish church has spoken up about the priest who wished Pope Francis' death. Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski of Krakow denounced the remarks that Father Edward Staniek uttered last month while giving a homily to the congregation.

(Reuters/Tony Gentile)Pope Francis commemorates his fifth year as the leader of the Catholic Church.

Jedraszewski released a statement to address Staniek's speech. The archbishop expressed "great pain and regret" for the priest's comments. He also said he had a private discussion with Staniek at his office.

Last February, Staniek remarked that he's praying for Pope Francis' "quick departure." The conservative priest does not support the pope's views on inclusivity and acceptance, especially with Muslims.

He also believes that Pope Francis made errors in allowing Catholic divorcees to receive communion. He said that the pope was an "alien body" whose words instigated hostility against Catholics, especially from the media.

"I pray for wisdom for the pope, for his heart to open up to the Holy Spirit," Staniek said in his homily. "If he does not do that, I pray for his quick departure to the House of the Father," the priest went on to say.

Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, also known as the late Pope John Paul II who led the Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005, used to be the head of the Krakow church. Most clerics in Poland remain attached to the former pope's staunchly traditional and conservative views.

Meanwhile, Jedraszewski said that contrary to Staniek's statements, the Polish diocese prays with good intentions for Pope Francis.

In a related report, as Pope Francis marks his fifth year into the papacy this 2018, Catholics from the U.S. expressed that they love the reformative pope and his popularity remains consistently high. Many Catholics expressed that the pope inspires them to return to the congregation.

Critics, however, say that his papacy and his attempts at reforming the Catholic Church has been divisive since his doctrines have been interpreted differently across dioceses around the world. Some churches follow in the pope's more liberal views, while other churches prefer to uphold traditional beliefs.