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John Paul II and the End of the Cold War
The National Catholic Register ^ | 4/28/11 | Newt Gingrich

Posted on 04/29/2011 6:56:41 AM PDT by marshmallow

The peaceful social movement that toppled Soviet communism began with the Pope and the spiritual renewal of the Polish people.

“But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations.”
John Adams, “Letter to Hezekiah Niles,” Feb. 13, 1818

What John Adams observed about the American Revolution of the 1770s was also true about the Polish Revolution of the 1980s that helped bring about the end of the Cold War.

Before there was a Solidarity trade union with 10 million members that ultimately toppled Soviet Communism, there was a revolution in the minds and hearts of the Polish people that made Solidarity possible.

In August 1980, striking shipyard workers in Gdansk, Poland, sparked a wave of strikes across the entire country. They demanded the reinstatement of fired shipyard worker Anna Walentynowicz, better working conditions and the right to form independent trade unions.

The strike ended peacefully on Aug. 31, 1980, when the workers and the government signed a landmark agreement that included the right to form independent trade unions.

Two weeks later, Solidarity was born, and within 16 months more than 10 million Poles joined.

Nine years later, in June 1989, Solidarity candidates won overwhelming victories in the first semi-free elections in Soviet-occupied Eastern Europe in 40 years and formed the first non-communist-led government in the Eastern bloc. Five months later, the Berlin Wall fell, and, in December 1991, the Soviet Union disappeared.

But what was the revolution in the Polish hearts that led them so decisively to embrace Solidarity and endure nine years of hardship, including martial law and murder, to see this peaceful.........

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TOPICS: Catholic; History; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Politics

1 posted on 04/29/2011 6:56:43 AM PDT by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow

Quite correct, the Pope was instrumental in the collapse of communism. God chose his servant well.

2 posted on 04/29/2011 7:22:07 AM PDT by Cronos
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