KRAKOW, POLAND, JUNE 10 -- Pope John Paul II called on Poles today to resist disillusionment in "the patient fight" for freedom and urged implementation of the Solidarity agreements for farmers in appearances before hundreds of thousands of people who walked through police-lined streets to see him.
Later in Krakow, he also told a cathedral congregation that the Soviet Union had refused his request to visit Lithuania this year for celebrations marking the 600th anniversary of the ties of that former independent country, now a Soviet republic, to the Catholic Church.
In an emotional journey from the countryside near Tarnow to his old home in "my Krakow, the city of my life," John Paul repeatedly defended the ideals and goals of Solidarity, the independent union banned in 1981, and urged his nation not to give up its centuries-old fight for liberty.
"We cannot let ourselves be depressed," he said, evoking the grim recent years of economic stagnation and social apathy. "We cannot let ourselves be dominated by frustration -- spiritual or social. Every one of us is challenged to write for that difficult history a new chapter, a new piece, a fragment."
The forceful appeal, which followed a sharp denunciation of communist agricultural policies and a new endorsement of the work of slain pro-Solidarity priest Jerzy Popieluszko, heightened what has emerged as a strong demand by the pope here for major reforms of Poland's communist system.
At a meeting with intellectuals in Lublin yesterday, John Paul called for a rethinking of "the very premises of the existing state organism." On the first day of his seven-day visit Monday, he bluntly told Communist Party leader Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski to respect the U.N. human rights charter.
Jaruzelski, who has overseen a massive show of police force during the pope's visit, has so far responded to the strong sermons only with a defiant defense of his own record. But Polish church officials said the pope's strong political initiative may increase pressure on a government hoping to conclude new agreements for cooperation with both the Polish Catholic Church and the Vatican.
At the same time, the pontiff's boost to Solidarity's surviving fragments was tempered by the relative tranquility and apparently smaller size of the crowds that gathered today in Tarnow and Krakow. Although dozens of pro-Solidarity banners were unfurled in Krakow this evening, overall attendance appeared below the 1 million claimed by church officials and thousands drifted away after glimpsing the pope.
Close to a million people, many of them peasants, gathered in Tarnow, a city of 110,000, this morning for the pope's mass and beatification of a martyr -- a 16-year-old Pole who was killed by a czarist Russian soldier in 1914 while defending herself from a sexual assault. References by the pope to Solidarity and efforts to stir the crowd with spontaneous remarks drew only light applause, however.
Opposition activists said one reason for the reduced turnout was the intimidating police presence at all of the pope's appearances.
At Tarnow, where security forces barred him from making a planned tour through the crowd, John Paul began the mass by walking to the edge of the stand built for him and gazing out at the huge throng. "I came here to look at you," he said. "I want to see you not only with my bodily eyes, but with my heart's eyes, because I grow with you. I thank you that I could see you."
He later delivered a message that focused on "the economic and moral crisis" of "the rural world" in Poland. He denounced the "ill-considered experiments, lack of trust and even discrimination" against private farmers under communist rule.
As the crowd applauded, the pope praised Wincenty Witos, leader of Poland's Peasant Party before communist rule, then declared that the 1981 agreements leading to the establishment of the Rural Solidarity organization should "find their full realization." Rural Solidarity, sister of the trade union, was suppressed along with it and government-promised reforms were not carried out.
Later, he praised the slain Popieluszko for the third consecutive day, saying his work was the example of a Polish pastoral tradition born in deportations to Siberia, prisons and concentration camps.