On the thirtieth anniversary of the imposition of martial law in Poland on 13 December 1981, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz disagrees with Mikhail Gorbachev.
The subject of this argument is General Wojciech Jaruzelski's coup, which outlawed the Solidarnosc union, detaining its officials at various levels, beginning with historic leader Lech Wałęsa, and depriving all of Polish society of its fundamental civil liberties.
As the former Soviet President maintains in an interview on the private TV station TVN24, which will air on 25 and 26 December, during one of their meetings in the Vatican, when asked what he thought of Jaruzelski's actions, John Paul II responded: “It was the right decision.”
John Paul II's former secretary (today Archbishop of Krakow) immediately made a declaration in which he expressed his extreme surprise at and strong denial of Gorbachev's statement.
“I must strongly assert that the Holy Father did not speak with Mr. Gorbachev about martial law, and his judgment was that this action was unequivocally negative.”
Cardinal Dziwisz mentions the words once pronounced by the Pope: “What have you done to this nation? It didn't deserve such treatment!”
In his book, My Life with Karol, Father Stanislaw emphasizes that “The imposition of martial law was a true shock for the Pontiff - he was 'surprised and pained' by it.”