THE PRIEST AND THE POLICEMAN: The Courageous Life and Cruel Murder of Father Jerzy Popieluszko by John & Roger Boyes Moody

THE PRIEST AND THE POLICEMAN: The Courageous Life and Cruel Murder of Father Jerzy Popieluszko

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The sad, sad story of the brutal killing of the Solidarity priest by government goons in Poland. Two experienced journalists tell the tale, freely admitting where no conclusions can be drawn through lack of evidence, tentatively suggesting possible solutions in other instances. The exact tale of Popieluszko's arrest and killing by torture may never be known. But the authors are most impressive in evoking an impression of the police state Poland is today: harshly violent, viciously anti-Semitic and, when it comes to Solidarity priests, anti-Catholic too. There are few surprises in the apparently never-ending griefs of this nation. Indeed, in Russia itself there are any number of martyrs to dissident causes who vanished with far less attention than Popieluszko received, because of his leadership role, and the admiration with which Pope John Paul held him. Now a candidate for canonization, Popieluszko is certain to be remembered as a symbol of the Polish people's battle against their oppressive government. When it comes to pointing a finger of blame, the authors do much to elucidate an extraordinarily thick and complex conspiracy, but in the end can only present what is known, which is not much. Certainly after the show trial of certain officers for murder, there were some imprisonments. Still, a certain general, former director of ""secret police religious affairs,"" lied under oath in court ""at least three times,"" and there was never a hint of this offender's being tried for perjury. The authors' conclusion shows that they have the right priorities in mind, and it is this clear-thinking and plain-speaking that make their book so moving. ""This priest died a cruel, dirty death, and the background and the motives should not be forgotten.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Summit/Simon & Schuster