WARSAW — Poland's Roman Catholic primate, Cardinal Jozef Glemp, on Wednesday dismissed a claim by government authorities that the church is lending its "silent support" to national parliamentary elections next month.
Leaders of the outlawed Solidarity union have called for a boycott of the election, and some radical priests have implicitly endorsed the protest in sermons. Voter turnout for the Oct. 13 elections to the Sejm, the Communist-controlled Parliament, is viewed as a test of strength between the government and the opposition.
Deputy Interior Minister Wladyslaw Pozoga claimed in the Communist Party newspaper Trybuna Ludu last week that the church is giving its silent support to the election. Pozoga also claimed that Western intelligence agencies, in the hope of disrupting the elections, are plotting provocative attacks on Polish churches that would be blamed on the Polish security service.
Speaking to American reporters before his scheduled departure Sept. 17 for the United States, Glemp said it would be a "very arbitrary interpretation" to conclude that the church's silence signaled its support. He added that he had not previously heard of any alleged plans for attacks on churches.