Jaruzelski marches forward with church more in step -- but Walesa left behind

Polish military ruler Wojciech Jaruzelski is firmly in control as he eases his country step by calculated step toward the promised end of martial law next month. He has even upstaged his own Communist Party as well as the Roman Catholic Church. And as for Solidarity, the outlawed union and its underground leaders have been brushed aside, their calls for strikes and protests first thwarted and then abandoned.

Faced with this fait accompli, the Roman Catholic Church has changed course. Remote-controlled by the Poles' own Pope John Paul II, it has opted to cooperate with the regime . . . and, in effect, to abandon the independent Solidarity union and its just-released leader, Lech Walesa. This brings church policy full circle - back to its pre-Solidarity strategy of quietly carving out the best position it can within the East bloc rather than backing mass worker protest against the Communist system.

''The time of anger and illusions is over,'' comments a Polish church leader in Rome. ''A more balanced and organized effort is needed.''

Meanwhile, Jaruzelski pushes ahead with freeing internees - undercutting some of Washington's reasons for sanctions. Polish authorities hope the US will take note.

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