VATICAN officials confirmed this week that Polish authorities have offered to guarantee broad powers and freedoms to the Church in exchange for full diplomatic recognition from Rome.
Some Vatican insiders view the offer with scepticism, however, and hinted that the Polish government wanted a breakthrough in Church-state relations primarily to quell internal dissent.
Polish Primate Cardinal Jozef Glemp said; "The process of rapprochement between the Vatican and the Polish nation, which began some time ago, has progressed well and one can say it is now in its final stages".
A Vatican diplomat said that in talks with Polish envoys this week draft legislation was presented that would define the Church's legal position in Poland.
He said the document appeared to meet most of the conditions posed by Poland's bishops, and added that government officials said it could be approved by the Polish parliament within weeks.
Pope John Paul endorsed diplomatic ties as "a normal and right thing" in his visit to Poland last year, but insisted that such relations needed to be "credible" to the Polish people.