The Plenary Assembly of the Polish Bishops’ Conference convened on the 5th anniversary of the election of Pope Francis has just ended
The 100th anniversary of Poland’s regaining independence, the Synod on Youth and WYD, marriage and family, the “Halt Abortion” project, Polish-Jewish relations and the 25thanniversary of the Polish Catholic News Agency (KAI) were the themes of the 378th Plenary Assembly of the Polish Bishops’ Conference in Warsaw, which took place on March 13-14.
The Assembly was chaired by Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, with the participation of Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, Apostolic Nuncio in Poland, and representatives of the episcopates from Belarus, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Moldova, Germany, Scandinavia, Ukraine, Hungary, and Italy.
The Plenary Assembly of the Polish Bishops’ Conference was convened on the 5th anniversary of the election of Pope Francis to the Holy See. On this occasion, Polish Bishops celebrated the Holy Mass for the Holy Father in the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw, which was presided by the Apostolic Nuncio to Poland Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, with the participation of representatives of state authorities, the diplomatic corps, and numerous faithful. The Bishops expressed their gratitude to the Holy Father for his constant concern for the Church in Poland, for the canonization of John Paul II, for the visit to Poland, World Youth Days in Cracow and pastoral teaching.
Regarding the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Poland’s regaining independence, it was reflected historically on the role of the Church in the development of the spirituality of Poles and in the cultivating of “Polishness” in the period of national bondage. The Bishops drew attention to the importance of the community of the Catholic Church in preserving national values in times of bondage and appreciated the zealous piety of Poles.
The Bishops also discussed pastoral initiatives related to the Synod on Youth and the state of preparations for World Youth Day in Panama. During the debates, it was also undertaken a deep reflection on the forms of caring for marriage and family in the light of the exhortation Amoris laetitia. While preserving the teaching of the Church, the Bishops drew attention to the necessity of accompanying marriages, both on the path of their sacramental fidelity and in the discernment of their irregular situations. Recalling the necessity of unconditional respect towards every human being in all its moments of life, the Bishops call for immediate legislative work on the civic project “Halt Abortion”.
In connection with the recurring issue of Polish-Jewish relations, the Bishops emphasized the necessity to continue the Polish-Jewish dialogue based on truth, trust and mutual respect, as well as they recalled that all forms of antisemitism are contradictory to the principles of Christian love of one’s neighbor. They also pointed out the heroic attitudes of Poles who, risking their lives, helped persecuted Jews during World War II.
The Polish Bishops’ Conference expressed also gratitude to the Polish Catholic News Agency (KAI) for 25 years of its activity. At the end, the Bishops thanked the priests for their generous service during Lent and wished all believers good experiencing during this time. For the upcoming Easter, they wished that the celebration of the resurrection of Christ would fill everyone with the power of the Holy Spirit.