The Pope as a Threat to Communism. “Eastern Policy” of the Holy Seein the Years 1978-1985 in the Documents of Special Services of the Polish People’s Republic
Wydanie: Lublin 2016
The author of the article analyses the resources of the communist special services of the Polish People’s Republic. The aim of the work is to capture the changes in the eastern policy of the Holy See after the election of John Paul II to the papacy. The author shows how this policy underwent corrections in the context of the political changes in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The author’s research shows how important for the disintegration of the USSR was the change of the Eastern policy of the Vatican since 1978, and the extent to which the Soviet authorities perceived John Paul II as a political threat to the functioning of the Soviet system. The author points out the first phase of the eastern policy of John Paul II: the opening for the Catholics in the East, gestures made towards the faithful rite Greek Catholics and the Catholics in Lithuania, then attempts to prepare the visit of John Paul II or Cardinal Agostino Casaroli to the communist Lithuania in connection with the occasion of the jubilee of the 500th anniversary of St. Kazimierz’s death. The research shows the extent to which differences were marked in the approach to the eastern policy of the Holy See, John Paul II and the Vatican secretary of state Casaroli. Research shows that an important turning point in the Eastern policy of the Vatican were documents concerning the fight against the so-called “Liberation theology” prepared by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. The same study confirms that Pope JPII was surrounded by collaborators of the communist secret services whose intention was to inform the authorities of communist Poland about the activity of the Pope. Thus, this channel of knowledge about the plans in the Eastern policy of the Vatican was used by the Kremlin. Documents attest to the close Vatican-American cooperation in the fight against communism and the Soviet Union as an empire. The author raises a number of research questions concerning the Eastern policy of the Vatican, which require further investigation.