Pope John Paul signals he may still visit Poland; Both he and Polish regime want the trip to proceed
By Eric Bourne, Special correspondent of The Christian Science MonitorVienna — Despite recent predictions and a series of ambiguous statements suggesting the contrary, Pope John Paul II has by no means abandoned his plan to visit his homeland again later this year.
Last week, Poland's primate, Archbishop Jozef Glemp, suggested after meeting with the Polish Pontiff in Rome that the Pope's visit would be postponed, at least, perhaps until next year.
But in a public statement May 2 the Pope indicated his determination to make the trip. Only insurmountable difficulties in the Roman Catholic Church's relations with Warsaw's military regime will prevent it, and he apparently thinks things have not yet reached that point.
He has asked the Polish leaders to create ''adequate conditions'' for the visit, a formulation that seems to allow for something less than the abolition of martial law, which the church had previously said was a precondition for the visit.
The Vatican's view and that of the Polish episcopate are not necessarily the same. The Polish bishops are always anxious lest the church be seen in Poland as ''giving too much.'' The Pope is concerned about the church's position in Eastern Europe as a whole.
For the Catholic Church, preserving its long-established, unique position in Poland has paramount importance, for intolerance and repression are threatening the church in hard-line Czechoslovakia.
For its part, the Warsaw government has its own obvious political reasons for wanting the Pope's visit to proceed as planned. The Jaruzelski regime needs it more than its predecessor needed his 1979 visit.
The Pope himself will make the final decision as to whether conditions are consistent with his declared stand for negotiated compromise and social understanding in Poland. There are three months yet before the decision must be made.