POLAND: DEATH OF CARDINAL WYSZYNCKI

Created: 5/28/1981

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POLAND: Death of Cardinal Wyszyrie/.i

The death today of Cardinal Uyesynski will ushereriod of mourning in whieh political controversies will be temporarily shelved and will open up discussion within the Church leadership about its future role.

Duringplus years as head of Poland'sand embattled Catholic Church, Wyszynski exercised great moral authority over the population as well as strict control over the sometimes cantankerous bishops. He used his personal prestigeoderating force both on the regime as well as on the disgruntled Polish His influence was particularly critical during the tumultuous pastonths. MM

The selectionuccessor will involve behind-the-scenes discussions between the Polish Episcopat, the Vatican, and the regime. Archbishop Macharski from Krakoweading candidate, and there are severalbishops and many dark horses who could be compromise choices. MM

The regime, technically,eto power over Church appointments, in light of its current weakened condition and need for Church support, it will probably go along with the Church's candidate. It would only exercise its veto power if one of th* more radical bishops were nominated. MM

No matter who succeedsnski( the Church will^ continue to actoderating force. Maintaining unity within the Church leadership will be more difficult,without the authoritarian rule of Wyszynski. Some Polish bishops are known to favor more active support of Solidarity and have privately criticized Wyszynski'* cautious and conciliatory policies. In the past, such differences were submerged by the need to maintain Church unity against the regime. tore pluralistic,Poland, however, some bishops might begin to act more independently. mm

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