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COMMENTARY: Forty years ago, Soviet communists tried to turn out the lights. But like a candle in the White House window, Ronald Reagan and John Paul II and the people of Poland kept a flicker of hope alive.
By Paul Kengor, EWTN News, December 13, 2021
Paul Kengor Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania. His books include A Pope and a President, The Divine Plan and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism, The Devil and Karl Marx: Communism’s Long March of Death, Deception, and Infiltration.
Forty years ago, on Dec. 13, 1981, late night, darkness overcame Poland, the homeland of Pope John Paul II and the only country in the Soviet bloc where the communist war on religion had not only failed but backfired.
Crucial to that failure had been not only the Polish Pope, but Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement, which the communists had reluctantly permitted to legally organize in August 1980.
In retrospect, what a mistake it had been. By December 1981, every man and his sister, brother and mother belonged to the independent, anti-Soviet, pro-Catholic Church trade union. It had become a movement of mass resistance to Soviet Communism.
The communists decided that enough was enough. They had already done everything in their power to stop the Polish Pope, who seven months earlier, on May 13, 1981, the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, was nearly assassinated. The Kremlin badly wanted to eliminate Pope John Paul II, and it equally wanted to eliminate Solidarity. Dec. 13 was their big chance. …