The Polish government disclosed today that Communist party chief Stanislaw Kania had met yesterday with Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, head of the Catholic Church in Poland, in what marked the first meeting between Poland's top political and religious leaders since the summer strikes and the first for Kania since his election last month.
No details of the meeting were given by the government-run Polish news agency with reported it. Its occurrence, coming on the eve of the cardinal's departure for Rome to attend a bishops' conference, appeared to underscore the Warsaw government's interest in demonstrating a willingness to cooperate with Poland's other power groups.
Adding to this impression were reports that the government was moving toward a compromise with the new independent trade unions over the stalled registration of the national union federation Solidarity. Altogether, these events suggested that pieces of Poland's disrupted political and economic puzzle may be falling into more solid place.
The Catholic Church, which claims the allegiance of three-fourths of the Polish population, holds a central position in this process. While it acts as a powerful pillar for the country's opposition forces, the church also has traditionally cautioned against militant action, tending to encourage stability.
Polish bishops struck this balance again last week in a communique that gave strong backing to the new independent unions -- allowed by the government as a result of the workers' revolt -- while also calling for a return to social peace.
"Today, in the new situation," the communique said, "the bishops have hope, and spread this hope throughout the society, that socioeconomic changes will follow the right direction, to the benefit of the whole nation. The bishops share the worries of the working people. They give the workers moral support and defend their just rights.
"At the same time the bishops are convinced that once the rights of the working people are recognized -- that is, the position of the new trade unions gets normalized -- they will set to meeting the obligations on all the works and walks of the national life with great energy and fervor.
"What we most need," the bishops added, "is internal peace."
Kania's predecessor, Edward Gierek, initiated direct contact with Wyszynski in 1977 in a move that signaled an improvement in Poland's church-state relations. Thereafter, the two leaders met periodically, though a number of church requests to the government have gone unfulfilled.
As part of its agreement with workers, the government agreed to permit the radio broadcast of Sunday mass across Poland for the first time since World War II.
The selection of Kania as new party chief raised some doubt about the tone of church-state contacts.Kania had been in charge of church-state relations for Poland's Communist Party in addition to his responsibilities as head of the country's security forces. He also had a reputation in church circles as a tough negotiator.
This week's meeting between the cardinal and Kania was taken by observers as a sign of continuing tolerant relations in a still very unsettled Poland.
One critical obstacle to a return to normalcy here is the month-long impasse between the government and union organizers over the registration of Solidarity. Without formal certification, Solidarity and its 50 regional branch groups are technically illegal, making it difficult for some new unions to open bank accounts or rent office space.
The government's key objection to Solidarity's proposed charter is the preamble lacks a statement recognizing the leading role of the Communist Party in the country. It also fails to endorse socialism or mention respect for Warsaw's alliances -- a reference to the Soviet Union -- all of which was language tensely negotiated in the agreement between the government and strikers at Gdansk Aug. 31.
As written now, Solidarity's charter goes only so far as to pledge the organization's allegiance to the Polish constitution, excluding the other statements desired by the government on grounds they are of a political nature and have no place in a labor union charter.
The inability to reach a compromise on this and other points has prompted militant calls for another warning strike like the one-hour nationwide action Oct. 3.
Lech Walesa, the Gdansk union leader, has cautioned against further strike action, but he was also quoted this week as saying he will not agree to change to a change in the wording of Solidarity's proposed draft charter.
Sources indicated that the unions and government may agree to some sort of side protocol to resolve current differences. Government officials have scheduled a meeting with Solidarity representatives to discuss the registration issue on Friday.
Other Objections voiced by the government to the proposed charter include the questions dealing with the right to strike and the shape of the union organization.
Solidarity would deny leadership positions to anyone who holds a Communist Party or government post. This would frustrate what seems to be Warsaw's strategy of encouraging party and government officials to join the new unions.
united Press International added from the Vatician :
Pope John Paul II, addressing 75 workers from Gdansk, said he will never stop supporting the struggle of Polish workers to defend social justice and human rights in his homeland.
"We are all tied to Gdansk," John Paul said. "I would like to assure everyone here and aso our countrymen at home that I will never stop accompanying in my prayers the efforts systematically made after recent events."
The pope said he hoped the labor situation in Poland would become stable "in the spirit of full justice, respect for human rights and the human family, in the spirit of respect for workers and ultimately the common good of our beloved homeland."