• Short Summary


    INTRODUCTION: Relations between the Catholic Church and Eastern European governments are complex and difficult.

  • Description

    1. VATICAN CITY, 1967 (MONO MUTE): SV's INTERIOR Podgorny meets Pope (2 shots) 0.15
    2. 1977 EXTERIOR (COLOUR, SOUND) VATICAN CITY: Kadar and delegation walk up steps (2 shots) 0.36
    3. BUDAPEST, HUNGARY 1980: GV ZOOM TO CU State of Bishop Gerard in Budapest. SCU INTERIOR Cardinal Agostino (left) with Hungarian delegation headed by Kadar seated round table (4 shots) 0.53
    4. VATICAN CITY, 1981: SV Lech Walesa waiting for audience. CU Ceiling PAN DOWN TO Pope on throne. SV Walesa is greeted by Pope (3 shots) 1.16
    5. ST PETER'S SQUARE, ROME: MAY 1981: Pope rushed away by car after assassination attempt. ROME, JULY 1981, GV INTERIOR Judge speaking. GV Agca seated in dock (3 shots) 1.34
    6. CHICAGO, USA: DECEMBER 1981: GV Demonstrators pass outside Polish Church. SCU PAN DOWN Man TO front page of Chicago Tribune (2 shots) 1.49
    7. VATICAN CITY, 24 DECEMBER 1981: GV EXTERIOR Pope at window lighting candle 2.01
    8. WARSAW, POLAND, DECEMBER/JANUARY 1981/1982: SCU Military newsreader reading news. GVs Military patrolling streets (4 shots) 2.18
    9. ROME, ITALY. GV Crowds in St Peter's Square with Polish flags and Solidarity banner listen to Pope (3 shots) 2.43
    10. WARSAW, POLAND, JUNE 10, 1982: GV's SVS Archbishop Glemp in procession with cross, SV PULL BACK GV Glemp addresses crowd (5 shots) 3.03
    11. VATICAN CITY, JULY 7, 1982: GV PAN AND SV Polish people singing traditional songs, SV Archbishop Glemp shakes hands with nuns. SV PAN AND GV PAN Pope riding in open vehicle (3 shots) 3.29

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved


    INTRODUCTION: Relations between the Catholic Church and Eastern European governments are complex and difficult. Official government policy towards the Eastern Bloc's estimated 60 million catholics varies widely from country to county. The election of the Polish-born Pope John Paul in 1978 caused rejoicing throughout Eastern Europe. It was thought that a new era of detente was about to begin between Catholicism and Marxism in eastern Europe. But in recent months relations between the Vatican and the Kremlin have been strained following allegations of a KGB plot to kill the Pope.

    SYNOPSIS: 1967 and an historic meeting between Soviet President Nikolai Podgorny and Pope Paul the Sixth. It was the first meeting between a communist head of state and the Pope and marked a breakthrough in relations between the communist world and the Vatican.

    Ten years later Hungarian Prime Minister Janos Kadar saw Pope Paul. The visit marked a relaxation of tension between the government and the Vatican following the retirement of anti-communist Cardinal Jozef Mindazenty. His successor adopted a more flexible line towards communist states.

    Three years later Cardinal Casaroli from the Vatican visited Budapest for the thousandth anniversary of the Hungarian martyr Bishop Gerard. Hungary's four million catholics make up more than 60 per cent of the population.

    Lech Walesa, the former leader of th banned trade union Solidarity met Pope John Paul for a private talk at the Vatican. Nearly 95 per cent of Poles are Catholic and the relationship between Church and State is a difficult and delicate one.

    On May 13, 1981 this was the scene in St Peter's Square. The Pope was severely wounded by pistol fire as he toured the crowd at his weekly audience. He later recovered and his would-be assassin Mehmet Ali Agca a Turkish gunman later appeared in court. many Western intelligence experts believed the Soviet KGB or one of its client organisations had in the attempted assassination.

    Martial law was declared in Poland in December 1981 and provoked world-wide demonstrations of support for the banned trade union Solidarity. Many observers said the Pope's visit in 1979 had led to the establishment of Solidarity in 1980.

    There was no doubting the Pope's support for the people of his homeland. On Christmas Eve 1981 he lit a candle in his Vatican apartment window in an act of emotional unity with his compatriots at home as they prepared for Christmas.

    The military clamp down on Warsaw was complete. In Rome, Pope John Paul came out strongly in support of Solidarity. He said workers had the right to set up autonomous trade unions, the rule of which was to guard their social, family and individual rights.

    Now that the situation appears to have stabilised preparations are being made for the postponed Papal visit. The country's Roman Catholic Primate Archbishop Jozef Glemp has recently been named as one of 18 new cardinals. His elevation by the Pope has been welcomed in Poland as a token of Vatican support for his campaign and dialogue with the authorities. During these festivities the Archbishop said the Pope's visit to Poland in the summer would be a sign that the social situation was stabilising.

    In July Archbishop Glemp wen t to Vatican City to clarify conditions for the Papal visit. The Pontiff wants to attend the 600th anniversary celebrations of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa but eh authorities are known to be opposed to the visit if it coincides with the second anniversary of the agreements between the government and Solidarity on August 31. The tension between the church and state which has characterised relations between the Vatican and Western Europe is still very much a live issue in Poland.


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