Former Communist Leader Recants at the End, Receives Last Rites

Former Communist Leader Recants at the End, Receives Last Rites June 19, 2014

There will be rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents. Jesus Christ

There must have been rejoicing in heaven a few weeks ago. That’s when Wojeiech Jaruzelski, the former Communist dictator or Poland asked for last rites.

Mr Jaruzelski was also the former and the commander of the Soviet Military forces that put down an attempted move toward democracy in Czechoslovakia. He was an avowed atheist for most of his adult life.  

True to its way of doing things, the Church accepted him back and rejoiced in his salvation. Mr Jaruzelski died May 25, following a stroke and was given a funeral Mass on May 30. He had recanted of his atheism and asked for the rites of the Church two weeks before his death. 

“What a … beautiful thing, that the head of the government which was at war with the Church should in the end be reconciled with the Church. That’s cause to ring the bells of glory, isn’t it?” said Fr Raymond Gawronski. 

From CNA:

.- The recent funeral Mass said for Wojciech Jaruzelski, who was a Polish military commander and communist politician during the Cold War, has been received as an occasion for rejoicing.

“What a very odd but beautiful thing, that the head of the government which was at war with the Church should in the end be reconciled with the Church. That’s cause to ring the bells of glory, isn’t it?” said Fr. Raymond Gawronski, a priest of Society of Jesus’ Maryland province and a Polish-American, in an interview this month with CNA.

Jaruzelski, who was for many years an avowed atheist, died May 25 following a stroke. He was given a funeral Mass in Warsaw May 30, said by Bishop Jozef Guzdek of the Polish Military Ordinariate.

A priest at the ordinariate’s cathedral announced that two weeks prior to his death, Jaruzelski had requested last rites.

Jaruzelski was born in 1923 to a prominent Catholic family of Poland, and shortly after country’s invasion by both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, he and his family were deported to Siberia, and he was later made to work in coal mines in Kazakhstan.

Before World War II ended, he had joined the Soviet-backed Polish army to fight the Nazis. He continued to fight the anti-communist Polish Home Army after the world war, defending the Soviet-backed Polish government.

Jaruzelski formally joined Poland’s communist party in 1948, and 20 years later became Poland’s defense secretary; that year, he occupied Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring, an effort at democratization.

In 1981, he seized power in Poland and soon declared martial law in an effort to suppress Solidarity, an anti-communist trade union inspired by Catholic social doctrine. Tens of thousands were arrested, and some 100 were killed in the crackdown; Jaruzelski’s imposition of martial law lasted until 1983.

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14 responses to “Former Communist Leader Recants at the End, Receives Last Rites”

  1. Only the religious would welcome, with open arms, a former dictator and oppressor of human rights into their special club…….

    I can’t think of a single atheist organization that would joyfully accept such a despot into their membership…… we actually do have some standards, unlike others.

    • You are so right Michael. True forgiveness only comes from Christ. As someone who has committed grievous sins in her life, I can attest to this.

    • Wow.. you bot totally missed the irony of my comment…..

      I wasn’t complimenting religion. I was ridiculing it……

      • I got it. But the irony here is that you were correct. Only Christ forgives the unforgivable. He is the only hope any of us have. Otherwise, we are all doomed to get what we deserve.

      • That’s all right. If all you want to get is justice, you will have eternity to contemplate all the things in which you deserve justice.

    • God is just, but God is also merciful. If all we had to rely on was God’s justice, untempered by his mercy, we’d all be in the pits, literally, after we die.

      Of course it’s counterintuitive, as is the command (admittedly honored more often in the breach) to love your enemy.

    • You and I can’t know what was in his mind. Let’s just pray for his soul and be glad that, for whatever reason, he took this turn, even if it was at the end of a terrible and wasted life.

  2. Two things to be said about Jaruzelski. One: he argued, and on the whole I believe him, that he made his coup to avoid a Russian invasion of the kind that Hungary had suffered in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968, which would have been a lot worse. There is also a curious personal anecdote: when he first met Pope John Paul in person, he was so overawed that he went in trembling – even though he was the one with the army and the Soviet Union at his back, and the Pope only had his office and God.

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