by Peter Stanford POPE John Paul will visit the shrine of the Black Madonna of Czectochowa today as he nears the end of a seven day "pastoral" visit to his homeland that has been marked by political gestures with meetings with dissidents and outspoken attacks on human rights abuse. '
On the eve of his trip to one of Poland's most popular places of pilgrimage, the Polish pontiff, on his third home visit since being elected Pope, was due to hold a private meeting with Lech Walesa in Gdansk. The encounter with the nobel prize winning leader of the banned trade union Solidarity in its birthplace was permitted by the state authorities on condition that the discussions were not made public. The Pope also Mans to visit the grave of the murdered pro-Solidarity priest, Fr Jerzy Popieluszko. His tomb in the grounds of St Stanislaw Kostka Church in Warsaw has become something of a shrine with mourners flocking there in large numbers each day.
The Pope's visit, officially to inaugerate a Eucharistic Congress, began with him attacking the Polish government's record in front of General Jaruselski at a welcoming ceremony in the former Royal Palace in Warsaw on Monday. "Remember about man's right to freedom of worship, about the right to associate and feely express views", the Pope warned his audience. "Remember about man's dignity which has to unite the activity of all human societies and communties", he continued. "All violations and lack of respect for human rights constitute a threat to peace".
The Pontiff also took the opportunity to make a detailed icritique of the Marxist view of the economy. "The economy just like work is designed for man and not the other way around . . . Economic progress can only be achieved in this way. Man always comes first".
The General replied by talking about "the model of constructive co-existence" between church and state, and spoke of their shared task in upholding traditional morlaity.
The eve of the Pope's arrival was marked by a statement by some 60 intellectuals, headed by
Lech Walesa and including close friends of the Pontiff including Fr Josef Tischner. The signatories demanded basic rights for the Polish people including national independence, internal democracy and independent determination of Poland's internal order and economic structure.
Hours after the Pope's' outspoken address in Warsaw, a leading supporter of Solidarity was arrested in the university city of Lublin.