pope john paul 2: in memoriam- communism (part 4)



less than a year after his installation john-paul returned to his native Poland the first papal trip ever to a communist country it's almost impossible for the Communist Polish government to tell the Polish people you can't have a visit from the Pope they have revolution on their hands if they couldn't see a photo spoke in Poland for communism in Poland it was the beginning of the end Gorbachev said to me the one big mistake of communism was allowing Pope John Paul to succumb to Poland right after he was like the Pope because once he came to Poland could just United the people of poem three million poles twice the population Warsaw came out to welcome him home the city's victory Square was turned into an open-air Cathedral for our table mats among the witnesses was CBS News correspondent Tom Fenton it was most of all is sermon that the crowd was waiting for Polish Catholics living under a communist government are used to speaking in code and understanding veiled allusions they had no trouble understanding the phone the sermon was a bold challenge to a government that promotes atheism and discriminates against the church Christ he told the expansion crowd WA cannot be excluded from the history of the human race in any time or in any place that was enough to set off the crowd ways of applause rolled across the square the Pope listened with a deeply emotional response of the huge crowd himself deeply moved the crowd Sang's spontaneously we want God in our polish books we want God in our polish schools I knew in a moment that everything had changed that nothing would be the same again the visit inspired the pols to unite against the country's communist regime workers created an independent labor movement called solidarity the following year at its helm was left Forenza a young shipyard electrician solidarity staged a strike in Gdansk site of Poland's biggest shipyard soon the whole nation was rocked by strikes and uprisings barely a year after the movement was launched it had more than 10 million members in December 1981 the Polish government outlawed solidarity and imposed martial law but john paul ii showed his support for the movement by denouncing the false peace of totalitarian regimes in his New Year's address in st. Peter's Square crowds cheered his rallying cry for freedom the Pope returned to Poland next in 1983 when the country was still in the throes of martial law occupied by its own army at a time when the hopes of Poland's people were flagging the Pope's visit renewed their faith in their cause I think the moment that most impressed me was a crowd of several hundred thousand who all at the same time flashed the V sign it was funny and you knew then that the poles wouldn't never give up that the Communists will never win and it was just a matter of time before the whole thing when John Paul returned to Poland in 1987 the landscape had changed dramatically it would take just one more push from the Pope for the regime to topple altogether and there was no better place for this than the shipyard city of Gdansk the birthplace of solidarity in his previous trips to Poland the government refused to let him go there this time grudgingly it relented I think they thought they could control it I think they they thought well he hasn't been there he wants to go there he's pretty well got to go there we'll just try to keep a lid on it and so they basically seal off the town there are roadblocks everywhere they try to limit the numbers but out of this field what was the size of the crowd half a million million who knows bigger than the population it was almost as if the futility of the Polish state was demonstrated in contrast to the power of the people being expressed at that mask the altar had been built in the form of a huge prow of a ship the shipyard reference was everywhere this was a pope who always understood the power of imagery always understood the power of television the Pope never referred to the band laborers directly but in urging support for the workers the word he used repeatedly was solidarity Sasori Dada knows it was all but over for Poland's communist tyranny he had the impact of a battering ram on the old regime it was an amazing person it was not just the force of his personality it was his polishness it was his Catholicism he spoke to the poles like no one else could a new round of strikes led poles directly to the ballot box in 1989 they held their first freely contested election since World War two solidarity won in a landslide it was a victory for which the Pope claimed only a modest role as he said communism at some point was going to implode on its own accord he says the tree was rotten I just gave it a good shake the Sheikh he gave in Poland reverberating throughout the Iron Curtain countries across the Eastern Bloc people began asking if the poles can rise up why can't we the fact is they could and they did it wasn't long before the biggest tree of all fell as the Soviet flag was lowered at the Kremlin for the last time in 1998 the Pope tried to be of a similar shake to communism outpost in the Western Hemisphere he made an unprecedented trip to Cuba where unlike the chilly reception he got from polish officials he was warmly greeted by Fidel Castro Castro's atheist government allowed the Pope to hold outdoor masses the first public mass is permitted there in 40 years Castro hoped for and got the Pope's denunciation of the US trade embargo against Cuba but the Pope also hammered the Communist leader to improve his human rights record and loosened the reins on the country's Catholic Church I think he wanted to open feeble hop in the way that he opened up to : I think he succeeded what told me he succeeded was my assignment on the day of the big mass was to be back in the crowd there was a man standing next to me told if he demands for good English and he would not say this on camera I said what do you think and he laughed and he said I think they meaning the Cuban government have made the biggest mistake of their lives and letting him comfort and I said why do you say that and he said because the genies out of the bottle and their camp put it back

7 thoughts on “pope john paul 2: in memoriam- communism (part 4)

  • Solidarity was the true communists in Poland, the true workers uniting. Shame on the Polish government! That is NOT what communism is supposed to be about! I don't blame John Paul II for calling for freedom just like I don't blame Pope Francis for wanting socialism again in a different way.

  • @jumpnjza2 You silly person. John Paul II liberated Poland from the evil Soviet Communist system that was imposed by the USSR. It was a system that was imposed against the will of the Polish people. Not only that, he freed Poland from Soviet occupation.

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