JPII stabilizing Communism in Poland - 1987|
On January 13, 1987, at the Vatican John Paul II received General Wojciech Jaruzelski, head of the Communist regime, in order to help stabilize the chaotic situation in Poland.
The meeting took place in the private library of the Pope and lasted 70 minutes, a considerably long time. Above, a photo of the exchange of gifts that preceded the encounter.
The media commented, "The economy (in Poland) worsens dramatically. The citizens' capacity to purchase is reduced to nothing" (Le Figaro, January, 14, 1987).
One month earlier, in December 1986, Jaruzelski tried to create a consultive council that would represent different points of view and help the regime to resolve the crisis. The initiative was supported by the Episcopate and favored by John Paul II. However, when the various representatives were invited by the Bishops
to be part of that council, they declined.
Facing such a failure and without the means to resolve the situation except with the help of the Church, Jaruzelski went to the Vatican to speak with JPII. Later that year, the Polish Primate, Cardinal Josef Glemp, would lend his support to the regime. Further, in 1988 the Episcopate issued a Pastoral Letter pacifying the general discontent and advising Catholics to trust the regime. John Paul endorsed that document.
Le Figaro, January 14, 1987