HERALD NEWS FOCUS ON POLAND
THE POLISH bishops still expect that Pope John Paul will pay. another visit to his native Poland.
This was indicated by the Secretary of the Polish Episcopal Conference, Bishop Bronislaw Dabrowski, arriving in Rome to see the Pope amid speculation about mounting strains between the Church and the military regime in Poland after two months of martial law.
Desmond O'Grady reports from Rome that the Bishop — who was accompanied by two other members of the Polish hierarchy, Bishop Jerzy Stroba of Poznan and Bishop Jozef Rozwadowski of Lodz — said at the airport there on Monday: "It is up to the Pope to fix the date of the visit and the programme."
He added, however, that the date should be between the 600th anniversary of the Jasna Gora shrine next August and the 300th anniversary of the Polish cavalry's victory over the Turks at Vienna, in September of next year. '
Before Bishop Dabrowski's arrival in Rome, where he and the other two bishops were to spend several days, there were rumours that the Soviet Government had vetoed the papal visit when it received the Head of the Polish military regime, General Jaruzelski, in Moscow recently.
Desmond O'Grady recalls that when it was announced, before the military coup, that the Pope planned to 'go to Poland again, it was expected that he would do so next August. He says that the present uncertainty about dates is probably caused by the new strains in relations between Chlirch and State in Poland.
Reports from Poland say the Catholic Primate, Archbishop Jozef Glemp, is deeply concerned about the current situation, and wants to revive dialogue between the Church and the military regime at the highest level "before it is too late".
Sources close to the episcopate were quoted as saying that the Archbishop hoped to have a fleeting with General Jaruzelski within the next two weeks.
'The last meeting they had, in January, was inconclusive, but there is said to be hope that a fresh meeting might be more productive, following General Jaruzelski's Kremlin encounter and Archbishop Gleb's recent visit to the Pope, as well as the new approaches to Rome by other members of the Polish hierarchy.
Archbishop Glemp made it clear that ChurchState relations were in a difficult phasewhen he spoke to a congregation of about 2,000 at a Mass he celebrated in Warsaw last Sunday. The Church in Poland, he said, "faces a very hard task".
He said: "It may be that in all our history there has been no, such delicate time as today, when we experience such great disruption, this great anger, these prejudices against one another, which have been created by the harms that have been suffered and the lack of respect towards human dignity."
Social agreement, the Archbishop said, was al compromise, but not with evil. It should create a climate in which Poles could understand each other, because further disruption would not be supported by the Church.
Warsaw reports say that for about a month dialogue between Church and State has been virtually at a standstill. There was no announcement of any session in February of the joint government-episcopate commission which is supposed to meet monthly.
Strains were increased by the arrest of a priest, on the gounds that a pistol,said to have been used in the killing of a policeman, had been found in his home, and.by the sentencing of another priest to three and a half years in prison for preaching against martial law. But government officials denied that any widescale operation against the clergy was planned.