`conditions' for Poland visit
A VISIT BY Pope John Paul to his Polish homeland is still a possibility and the date for such a visit could be established within the next few months, according to Adam Lopatka, Poland's religious , affairs minister.
Lopatka talked with reporters at the Polish embassy in Rome and said that the date of a visit is "an object of discussion" among the Pope, Polish government officials and the Polish bishops.
Lopatka was in Rome as one of eight official representatives of Poland's communist government at canonization ceremonies for Franciscan Fr Maximilian Kolbe.
Immediately after the canonization _.Mass, the Pope spoke to 150,000 people in St Peter's Square, including the Polish government delegation, and sharply criticized the Polish Parliament's passage of a law dissolving Solidarity, the independent trade union.
Lopatka indicated, however, that the papal trip was still a possibility and the date "could be arranged by next February."
Lopatka was asked by reporters whether t he continuation of martial law would preclude a papal visit. "As far as I know, this has not been made a condition of the visit," he said.
On the previous day, the Pope had said that he hoped to visit Poland during the jubilee celebrations for Our Lady of Czestochowa, Poland's patroness, scheduled to conclude in September 1983.
"It is my duty and my right, as bishop of Rome and as a Pole, to make this trip," the Pope said. "It is my hope that the necessary conditions for that pilgrimage may be created."
The existence of "certain conditions" in Poland for a visit to proceed has been a continual papal theme, although he has not specified publicly what the conditions are.
Many church sources believe the conditions include the revocation of martial law, which went into effect in December, the release of political detainees, including Solidarity's leader, Lech Walesa: and the reestablishment of Solidarity.
Speculation was rife that a new date would be announced by the Pope at the time of Father Kolbe's canonization, since the official Polish government news agency had said in late September that church and government leaders in Poland had agreed on a date.