Page 2, 18th September 1981

18th September 1981
Page 2
Page 2, 18th September 1981 — Archbishop Glemp calls for end to bitterness

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Organisations: Catholic Church
Locations: Warsaw


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Archbishop Glemp calls for end to bitterness

ARCHBISHOP Jozef Glemp, the new Primate of Poland, used the occasion of his investiture to call on the Polish to end mutual recriminations.

In his sermon he stressed the historical role of the Church in protecting Poland's nationhood, But, he said, "we must stop counting other people's sins. Such counting will achieve nothing." He said he understood the feelings of the Polish people, saying that the better, Christian nature of the Poles was at present hidden under bitterness and passion. "Man is tired of hardships of everyday life, by the queues ... and when he turns on the television set at home he hears nothing but accusations and laments he then isolates himself from society," he said.

The Primate, who has followed the lines of his predecessor, Cardinal Stephen Wyszynski. in seeing the Church as a mediator in Poland, said that the Church was willing to co-operate with all those of good will who were ready to contribute to peace.

He was also at pains to strengthen the Church's ties with the Polish union, Solidarity. and it is believed that he had a brief meeting with the union leader, Lech Walesa. before the inauguration ceremonies began.

In another move designed to strengthen links between the Church and the union, the delegates to the first Solidarity congress in Gdansk have sent a telegram to the Pope.

They express their desire that 'Solidarity' ceases to be just the name of their free trade union but that a true solidarity of all the people and nations and beliefs be established in accordance with the Church's and the Pope's teaching on truth, freedom, justice and love. They also thanked the Pope for all the good he had done for Poland as Bishop of Krakow and later as a leader of the Catholic Church". They are glad to know, they said, that he continues to identify himself as a son of Poland.

Solidarity delegates commended the whole country to the Pope's prayers. They said they were confident that they would see him next August. John Paul II is expected to take part in the celebration of the 600th anniversary of the arrival of the

'Black Madonna' icon at Jasna. Gora.

• Sister Catherine Shakespeare, National Secretary of Aid to the Church in Need which is manning a 'Ship for Poland' scheme to send food, was in Poland recently and saw some of the food queues, gives a personal view of shortages in Poland.

She told the Herald: 'The food situation was every bit as grave as is reported in the West. I saw long queues of people, one as long as half a mile in length, waiting patiently even in the pouring rain. They were waiting for anything obtainable, bread, sugar and many other commodities.

"Many people join food queues after working all night so as to be the first when the food arrives. Families will replace each other in the queues. People will buy whatever is available in case they can exchange or sell it to a neighbour."

One shop she visited in Warsaw had empty shelves at 1 p.m. on a Saturday. "Everyone seems to be carrying a bag, in the hope, no doubt of buying something.

-Vegetables, apples and tomatoes seem to be in reasonable supply both in the countryside and in the towns, but how long will these last'? Winter is coming on and if the people do not get the right kind of food then illness will prevail."

Solidarity cartoons show men holding up trains to Russia to examine the freight. One of these showed them opening tins marked "paint" and yet they contined ham. Sacks were also opened these were marked "cement" and they contained sugar.

'We heard of how local agents had destroyed food. Litres of cream and milk had been poured away in a village not far from Shawa. We also heard of ships being unloaded outside the harbour at Gdansk and being reloaded into other ships which set sail for Cuba.

"I made enquiries about the "Food for Poland" scheme and was assured that the containers are arriving and that the food is being distributed under the jurisdiction of the Episcopal Conference. Some parcels from the West have been destroyed."

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