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480 Document No. 90: Appeal from Pope John Paul II to Wojciech Jaruzelski December 18, 1981 A few days after his public statement on martial law (see Document No. 87), the Pope wrote personally to Jaruzelski repeating the substance of his earlier declaration . He appeals for an end to activities of the sort that have led to the bitter events in Poland and begs Jaruzelski to avoid further bloodshed. The Pontiff sends copies of the letter to Wałęsa, Glemp and Cardinal Macharski. In a postscript, he tells Jaruzelski that he will also inform the ambassadors to the Vatican of its contents. This includes the American ambassador, but not the Soviet envoy because Moscow has no representation at the Vatican. December 18, 1981, Vatican Appeal by Pope John Paul II to the Chairman of the Military Council of National Salvation, Gen. W. Jaruzelski, on the authorities returning to a peaceful dialogue with society and ceasing to shed blood. The events of the last days, news about killed and wounded Compatriots in connection with martial law introduced on December 13, require me to turn to you, General, with an urgent request and also a passionate invocation to cease operations, which carry with them the shedding of Polish blood. During the past two centuries especially the Polish Nation has experienced many wrongs, much Polish blood has also been spilt, endeavoring to extend authority over our Homeland. From this historical perspective Polish blood can no longer be spilt; this blood cannot burden the conscience and stain the hands of Compatriots. I am therefore turning to you, General, with an urgent request and also a passionate invocation in order that the matters connected with social renewal , which from August 1980 has been arranged on the path of peaceful dialogue , may return to that same road. Even if it is difficult, it is not impossible. This right is being demanded by the entire nation. Also demanding it is the opinion of the entire world, all societies who correctly connect the matter of peace with respect for human rights and the right of nations. Universal desires for peace call for this, in order that martial law not be continued in Poland. The Church is an advocate of this desire. It is getting closer to the Christmas Holidays, which for so many generations has linked all brothers and daughters of our Nation in the presence of the Christmas Eve host. Everything has to be done so that Compatriots do not have to spend this year’s Holiday under the threat of death and repression. 481 I call on your conscience, General, and on the conscience of all those people on whom at this moment the decision depends. John Paul II PS: This same appeal was simultaneously personally delivered to Mr. Lech Wałęsa, Chairman of Solidarity, and also personally to the Polish Primate, Archbishop Józef Glemp, for the entire Polish Episcopate, as well as Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, Metropolitan of Kraków. Representatives of Governments simultaneously notified about the present intervention. [Source: P. Raina, ed., Jan Paweł II, Prymas i Episkopat Polski o Stanie Wojennym . Kazania, Listy, Przemówienia, Komunikaty, (Londyn: Oficyna Poetów i Malarzy, 1982), pp. 69–70. Translated by L. W. Głuchowski for the National Security Archive.] ...


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