Page 2, 23rd October 1981

23rd October 1981
Page 2
Page 2, 23rd October 1981 — Polish Primate strengthened by talks with Pope

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Locations: Warsaw, Moscow, Rome


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Polish Primate strengthened by talks with Pope

From Desmond O'Grady in Rome "MAY GOD protect him." said Archbishop Jozef Glemp when Roman journalists handed him a news agency despatch with news that General Jaruzelski had replaced Stanislaw Kania as the Polish Communist Party Secretary. It was not clear whether Archbishop Glemp was referring to Jaruzelski or Kania but it may have been both.

The journalists gave him the news when he finished Mass for Maximilian Kolbe, whose death took place 40 years ago fast Sunday, Archbishop Glemp refused to comment on the substitution of Kania.

On arrival by air from Warsaw on Saturday. he told journalists that his presence showed things were going well in Poland. But after this initial pleasantry he admitted that there was considerable tension.

One did not have to be a fly on the wall to know that the Polish situation was the subject when Archbishop Glemp lunched with Pope John Paul 11 in the Vatican on Sunday. They had met briefly on Saturday evening at the concert given to celebrate Pope John Paul's return from Castelgandollo to the Vatican.

"We are praying so that the Polish people will remain united in this crisis." Archbishop Glemp had told journalists on his arrival in Rome and doubtless he and the Pope discussed how' unity could best be maintained in a rapidly-evolving situation.

In opening the Polish Corn munist Party' Congress. Kania had repeated Moscow's attacks on "extremist priests". It is highly likely this was discussed by the Polish Primate with the Pope. Pope John Paul's Polish experience both for Church and the nation was, that all is possible if unity is preserved and he will not want it lessened now.

Pope John Paul is still getting to know Archbishop Glemp. Informed Polihh sources assert that Glemp was Wyszynski's choice. Pope John Paul respected it even though he barely knew Glemp who claims to he of distant Scottis h origin. Archbishop Glemp has not Wyszynski's prestige but is an alert, approachable bishop whose presidency of the episcopate's Justice and Peace Commission was good training for his responsibilities ia a country with archaic agriculture, almost modern heavy industry and, until recently. rigidly doctrinaire leaders.

Only a few months ago, the Polish church had a respected but gravely ill primate while the Pope lay near to death. Now the Polish Primate is y.,ounit and energetic and the Pope seems fully recovered. In other words, Polish Church leadership is in better shape even if the Polish situation is once more in a dramatic phase.

Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, said this tweak he saw no need for the Church and Solidarity to join 'the Communist Party in governirg the country'. He did not want to take office and it was not the Church's vocation to govern.

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