Poland: Rebirth and Peril

The tension eases—for now

Precisely at midnight, Poland's Communist-controlled radio gulped, then sent out over the air waves the combined symbol of the nation's rebirth and peril: midnight Mass. Though most Poles were at that moment in their own parish churches, the broadcast from Cracow's Wawel Cathedral, the former seat of Archbishop Karol Wojtyla, was a telling concession from the country's atheist government to the changes that have swept the land in the past four months. As if the Mass were not unusual enough, Pope John Paul II—who after his election two years...

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