WARSAW, Poland – An official says Cardinal Jozef Glemp, the head of Poland's influential Roman Catholic church from 1981 to 2004 — a time when it played a historic role in the fight against communism — has died at the age of 83.
Jozef Kloch, a church spokesman, said in a statement that Glemp died Wednesday evening in Warsaw. Glemp had been ill for many years, and the Polish news agency PAP said he had lung cancer.
Glemp oversaw the church at a critical time in its history and that of Poland.
He was the primate for most of the papacy of the Polish-born Pope John Paul II, a time when the church enjoyed huge influence in Poland.
The church was a lead opponent of communism, which Poland shed in 1989.