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Pope John Paul II - Lech Walesa
Pope John Paul II and Solidarity leader Lech Walesa. Moscow put on a brave face.

June 16, 1983 – Pope John Paul II Arrives In Poland

Pope John Paul II - Lech Walesa

Pope John Paul II and Solidarity leader Lech Walesa. Moscow put on a brave face.

June 16, 1983 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

June 16, 1983 – News for this day was all about the goings on in Poland. Pope John Paul II arrived in Warsaw to huge crowds and nervous politicians as the Pontif sought to heal wounds and bring some stability to the country swept up by Solidarity. The meeting with Walesa was looked at with a degree of suspicion in Moscow, as it was only the second time Pope John visited the country. The Solidarity movement had been banned by the Polish government of Gen. Voycek Jaruzelski since 1981. But the Pope came in an attempt to bring about peaceful negotiation, and even though it was unclear as to what the outcome might be, the fact that a Polish Pope came to visit his home country was big news and the air of tension seemed to subside for a little while. Pope John Paul met with Walesa in the Tatra Mountains, at the southern end of the Country towards the end of the 8-day trip. Between then and his arrival, he was to hold outdoor mass as well as meet with Poland’s leaders, among them the Polish President Henryk Jablonski and Archbishop Woytyla of Poland as well as Prime Minister Gen. Jaruzelski. All this designed to bring the end of a season of bloody protest, which had claimed many lives. In Katowice, Pope John Paul blessed the widows of those killed during the Gdansk strikes while holding mass for some two million worshipers who came to see him.

But there was other news this day – doubts over Soviet President Yuri Andropov‘s ability to maintain the same control over his country that his predecessor Leonid Brezhnev did were put to rest as the meeting today with the Soviet Parliament removed those doubts. Andropov was approved overwhelmingly and retained as much, if not more power, than Brezhnev had.

And that’s a small sampling of what went on, this June 16, 1983 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.






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