POLISH PRESIDENT AGREES TO SIGN VATICAN TREATY

     WARSAW (CWN) - Ex-Communist President Aleksander Kwasniewski on Saturday relented in his long-standing opposition to a concordat with the Vatican and said he would sign the document ratified by the new Solidarity-controlled Parliament.

      The treaty will govern the relationship of the Catholic Church and the government in the formerly Communist country. Kwasniewski signed a law authorizing the ratification of treaty. It was the final step leading up to the actual signing of the pact. The treaty was originally ratified by a former Solidarity government in 1993, but the treaty was stalled when Kwasniewski's ex-Communist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) came into power later that year.

      The SLD originally protested the provisions on marriage, burial of non-Catholics, and religion classes in schools, but during a visit to the Vatican last year, Kwasniewski pledged to speed up passage of the treaty.

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January 27, 1998 volume 9, no. 19          DAILY CATHOLIC