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Cardinal Pell welcomes Lech Walesa

1983 Nobel peace prize-winner and former Polish President (1990-95) Lech Walesa joined the congregation for Mass at St Mary's Cathedral on Sunday.

Walesa has visited several parts of Australia, including Melbourne, Canberra, and the South Australian coast.

Cardinal George Pell told the congregation that Mr Walesa was "one of the most distinguished visitors ever to come here for prayer and worship."

He was leader of the Solidarity Movement in Poland, which was responsible for the series of collapses of communist regimes that culminated in the fall of the Soviet Union.

Cardinal Pell said: "Pope John Paul's 1979 visit to Poland lit the fire, provoked the surge of Christian hope which was transformed into political victory."

"The man who led the Poles, bound them into a massive and triumphant consensus, non-violent, which persevered through fierce opposition, when it seemed the flame might be snuffed out again as in 1956 and 1968; this man was Lech Walesa from the Gdansk Shipyard Union."

Mr Walesa was accompanied by his wife and son.

Cardinal welcomes Lech Walesa (Catholic Weekly)

KI hosts presidential visitor (The Kangaroo Islander)
Lech Walesa to know you well (Herald-Sun 30/10/03)
Lech Walesa visits quiet Copper Coast (Yorke Peninsula Country Times 28/10/03)
Tip the world balance, Walesa tells Australia (The Age 27/10/03)
Time 100 Leaders & Revolutionaries - Lech Walesa
Nobel Peace Prize: Lech Walesa Biography

5 Nov 2003