One of the most remarkable episodes in the life of Karol Wojtyła—and one from which we can learn a great deal today—took place during his time as Cardinal of Kraków. It is astonishing to me that, with all the attention lavished on John Paul II, this incident has failed to attract notice, much less commentary. The same is true of a momentous event in the life of the great Cardinal Josef Slipyj.
Clandestine Priestly Ordinations
For readers who may be unfamiliar with it, Ostpolitik refers to the Vatican’s Cold War strategy of conceding certain demands of the Communists in Eastern Europe in return for supposed tolerance of an ongoing minimal ecclesial existence. Weigel himself has been a candidly severe critic of Ostpolitik, a theme to which he returned only two weeks ago in an article on its architect, Cardinal Agostino Casaroli. Weigel’s authoritative biography Witness to Hope presents the salient facts accurately, albeit with a bit of sugar-coating: