Page 1, 2nd November 1956

2nd November 1956
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Page 1, 2nd November 1956 — British messages to the Cardinal
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British messages to the Cardinal

IN MEMORY OF CARDINAL GRIFFIN . BISHOP Craven, Vicar Capitular of Westminster, sent the following telegram on Monday to Cardinal Wyszynsky " on the happy occasion of his release to full liberty " : " On behalf of the priests and faithful of the archdiocese of Westminster, in memory of Cardinal Griffin, friend of Poland, I send Your Eminence joyful greetings, assurance of prayers."

About the same time Cardinal Wyszynsky was appearing on the balcony of his residence in Warsaw. blessing the people and telling them that "calm and dignity should be observed at present."

He told them that Poland is and will remain a Catholic country.

" My dear children," the Cardinal began. " I am happy that 1 am again with you, and thank you for your prayers which helped me during those three years to preserve behaviour worthy of a son of the Church and a son of Poland.

"Our Lord wanted the experience of our love, But this love turns to the greater glory of God and the fatherland.

"1 ask you for further help by praying. And now I bless you all.

" Go home quietly to lunch."

SERIOUS DAYS'

The Cardinal repeated the words he uttered just before he was imprisoned: "In these serious days I ask you again to pray for order and peace. These are what the Polish nation now need most."

The crowd dispersed singing " God is our King.'

On behalf of the Catholic members of Parliament, Mr David Logan, Mr Hugh Delargy, Mr William Teeling and Mr Simon Mahon sent a telegram to the Cardinal expressing their joy at his release and " gratitude for your courage."

The Government had announced its decision to free the Cardinal on Sunday—exactly two years and a month to the day after his arrest and "suspension."

The Cardinal's restoration followed a nation-wide campaign by Catholics, including a petition which received thousands of signatures in all parts of the country, and resolutions from students and workers' meetings, It was also one of the major demands of the Polish demonstrators in the days of tension which brought Gomulka to power.

To secure it. Catholic groups began negotiations with the new Communist leader as soon as he took office.

RELUCTANT

According to a Times correspondent, they told him that if Catholics were to play a national role, especially in elections to the Seim, the Chamber of Deputies, they would be unable to win any support if the Cardinal remained isolated in Southern Poland.

After a meeting with other members of the Communist Polithureau, Gomulka "reluctantly agreed." Then came talks between the Cardinal and two of Gomulka's men, Zenon Kilszko, a newlyappointed Vice-Minister of Justice and Wiadislaw Bienkowski.

It is not known what, if any, proposals or conditions were put forward by either the Cardinal or the Communists at these discussions. But when they announced that the Cardinal would be released, the Communists also stated that a special Commission would be set tip to discuss all unsolved problems between Church and State in Poland.

If the new rulers genuinely intend to satisfy the people's plainlyexpressed will in their dealings with the Church, then a first step will have to be the restoration of the 13 other Polish Bishops still interned, imprisoned, or otherwise barred from their duties.

Reports from Poland show clearly that the new Government's attitude in this matter will be regarded as a vital test of their general good faith and intentions.

Thereafter, any bona fide Government commission on State relations with the Church will face the task of setting right a long record of injustice, persecution and treachery on the part of the State.

This stretches right back to Gomulka's previous spell as Poland's leading Communist, before he was "purged" in 1948,

• • Mass for victims

THE Church of St. Stanislaus of

the Poles in Rome was draped in black on Tuesday morning when hundreds of refugees from Eastern and Central Europe attended a Requiem Mass for those who died in the Hungarian uprising.

Banners of refugee organisations stood near the altar.

Several Bishops exiled from European countries were present together with she Austrian. Polish. Spanish and West German Ambassadors to the Holy See and an attache of the United States Embassy to Italy.

Mass for heroes

CARDINAL LERCARO. Arch

gishop of Bologna, celebrated an evening Mass in the Basilica of St. Petronius for " the freedom said glory of the Church of Silence."

In an address the Cardinal said: " Cardinals, Bishops, priests and faithful . . . we salute in you the heroic representatives of the Reign of Christ, in Whose Name you are the defenders of every sacred human right.




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