conditionally and became a mentor of ZNAK (see ZNAK) and its Catholic laymen's periodicals. He was also much more critical of the social policies of the communist Polish government than was Wyszynski. He was known by the government as the real patron of dissidents.
Upon the death of Pope John Paul I, a most beloved pontiff who reigned for only a short time, the College of Cardinals elected Woytila the new pope. He took the name John Paul II. His election helped to raise the prestige of the Catholic church in Poland, and it provided renewed hope for believers and nonbelievers alike. The communist leaders were quite conscious of his impact on Polish politics, and when he visited Poland on two occasions, they cringed at the millions who greeted the pope as their own. It is possible that the assassination attempt made by Ali Agca, a Turkish national, on Pope John Paul II was secretly organized by the Soviet KGB, and the cooperation of the Bulgarian secret police. However, this has never been proven.
Monticone Ronald C., The Catholic Church in Communist Poland, 1945-1985: Forty Years of Church-State Relations ( Boulder, CO, 1986).
Wyszynski, Stefan, Cardinal (1901-1980). The son of a sacristan and an organist in Zuzela, in northeastern Poland, Wyszynszki was ordained a priest in 1924 and was sent to study at the Catholic University of Lublin. After graduation, he spent two years in Rome, and then he went to Paris and Brussels. After his return to Poland, Wyszynski taught at a seminary at Woclawek and edited a theological review, Ateneum Koplansie. The higher clergy of Poland was very conservative at that time and they considered Wyszynszki a leftist. When the Germans occupied Poland, Wyszynski went underground and administered to his flock in secret. The diocese where he served was terribly affected by the war; it lost nearly half of its priests to Nazi and Soviet murderers. After 1945, Wyszynski was appointed bishop of Lublin. He also became the chancellor of the Catholic University of Lublin. By then, he was inclined toward mysticism. Two years later, he was appointed bishop of Warsaw and cardinal of the Catholic church.
In 1950, he signed an agreement with Poland's communist government regulating religious teachings in schools and churches and declared that the church would help build socialism. But the continuous harassment by the government resulted in Wyszynski's becoming more and more outspoken, and his pastoral letters became harsher in criticizing the state's record on civil rights. In 1951, therefore, he was arrested and confined to a monastery. In 1956, he was released and resumed his post as primate of Poland. In 1957, the communist authorities decided to accelerate the secularization of Polish society. However, it became obvious that some sort of modus vivendi must be reached with the Catholic hierarchy, since the influence of the church had not been diminished among the people. In 1966, therefore, the state reluctantly joined the church in the celebration of the millennium of Polish Christianity. Wyszynski proposed a plan for the following nine years with a message for each year