DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     August 17, 1998     vol. 9, no. 160

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

POPE NEVER SUPPORTED ANTI-COMMUNIST ALLIANCE, WALESA SAYS

          BOGOTA, Colombia (CWNews.com) - Lech Walesa, former president of Poland and founder of the Solidarity trade union, said that Pope John Paul II never supported or helped build a "Holy Alliance" against Communism that helped end the Soviet dominion of Eastern Europe.

          Ending a recent Latin American tour, Walesa said in Bogota that the idea of the Pope secretly working against the former Soviet Union was "a myth" built by journalists Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi, authors of the book "His Holiness." "That book is focused on the idea of a conspiracy but I want to say that such a conspiracy never took place, and I can say so, because I was in the middle of that struggle," he said. "Certainly, this Pope made the greatest contribution to the decline of Communism, because when he visits a country he reveals the truth about such a country and establishes solid paradigms to build a future," said Walesa. "I took those ideas and put them into Solidarity," he added.

          Nevertheless, the former Polish president said, "Communism was doomed to die because it opposed the evidence of history and human nature." Walesa said, "The Pope was vital in bringing its swift and bloodless end." He added that such an achievement "was not the consequence of a conspiracy or a so-called 'holy alliance,' but the natural effect of the Pope's role in the world."

          "I mean, what do you actually expect from a Pope? To become a member of the Communist Party himself?" Walesa asked ironically. "He just did his job and did it extremely well," he added. Walesa also admitted receiving help from the Reagan administration, "but again, that was not because of a secret conspiracy, but because of Mr. Reagan's sympathy to our cause," he concluded.


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August 17, 1998       volume 9, no. 160
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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