CHURCH and state authorities in Poland have agreed on dates in 1983 for a second visit by Pope John Paul to his homeland, the government news agency PAP has announced.
PAP did not report the actual dates, saying these would be announced soon, but authoritative sources were fixing the visit for some time next May or June. PAP said agreement had been reached on the date GI' the visit by a mixed commission of officials representing the Catholic hierarchy and the government.
The Pope had been scheduled to visit his homeland in August 1982 but the trip was postponed. Most sources attributed the delay to government fears that such a visit would spark angry demonstrations against the nation's martial law regime, in force in Poland since last December 13. Pope John Paul's first return to Poland as Pope, in 1979, is widely credited with sparking the populist reform movement that authorities sought to curb by imposing martial law.
Poland's primate, Archbishop Jozef Glemp of Warsaw and Gniezno, in a homily at Czestochowa on August 26, had challenged the government to announce a new date for the papal visit, while also calling for the release of interned labour leader Lech Walesa.
On September 30 in Wroclaw, several thousand Solidarity supporters attended a Mass at the cemetery for a protester killed in a clash with police in August. The supporters were responding to a call by Solidarity leaders for "symbolic" protest actions.