Poland's Roman Catholic bishops said today that Communist authorities had failed to take advantage of the opportunity for national reconciliation offered by the June visit of Pope John Paul II.
"We regret that the chance for authentic national agreement presented by the pope's visit has not been used," the bishops said in a strongly worded communique issued after a meeting in Czestochowa. They warned that restrictive legislation passed by parliament last month over strenuous objections from the church "are fresh cause for anxiety."
The statement reflected the irritation among church leaders at the government's decision to accompany the formal lifting of martial law last month with continued curbs on labor, the press, academics, and others.
Coming shortly before the third anniversary of the Gdansk worker-state agreements that gave rise to the now-outlawed Solidarity movement, the church criticism can be expected to help build support for protest actions called by political underground groups.
In addition to condemning the new regulations, the churchmen asserted that the limited and conditional amnesty for political prisoners and underground activists introduced with the ending of martial law did not go far enough. "The problem of a complete amnesty is still unresolved," they said, recalling an earlier church plea for one.
Under the terms of the government's amnesty, about 60 hard-core Solidarity activists remain in prison.
The church said other issues still to be settled included the reemployment of persons fired for their convictions, the readmission of students expelled from universities for their political activities, the restoration of all clubs of Catholic intelligentsia and the restoration of union pluralism.
Calling on authorities to "honestly implement the social agreements concluded in August 1980," the bishops warned: "When the dialogue between the government and the nation ceases to exist, social peace is threatened--and can even completely disappear."
Meanwhile, former Solidarity chairman Lech Walesa, buoyed by his dramatic confrontation with Deputy Premier Mieczyslaw Rakowski yesterday in the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk, issued a statement urging Poles to struggle for the full implementation of the 1980 Gdansk agreements. He said the goal was "full implementation--and that means also [restoration of] Solidarity; we shall fight for this and we shall get it."