Pope John Paul II made his first direct reference to the outlawed union, Solidarity, in Katowice Monday by recalling the visit of the union's former leader, Lech Walesa, to the Vatican in January 1981. The Pope's speech contained some of the toughest references to the fate of the outlawed unions so far on the pilgrimage to his homeland. He again urged the government to return to reform.
The Pope also made a direct reference to Rural Solidarity in a mass at the western Polish town of Poznan Monday. The outlawed farmers' union was founded there in the spring of 1981, Monitor special correspondent Eric Bourne notes.