.- Polandâs President, Alexander Kwasniewski, sent an official invitation on Wednesday to Pope Benedict XVI to visit Poland, the homeland of the beloved Pope John Paul II. The Polish president said he was very pleased by the existing bonds between the new Pope and Poland. âI am sure they will be cultivated, reinforced and widened.â
âI am hopeful that a visit to Poland will be one of the first pilgrimages carried out by His Holiness,â said President Kwasniewski, adding that âthe love and kindness that Benedict XVI will show the world in his capacity as pastor of the universal Church are values particularly needed in our torn age of terrorism and conflicts.â
âDuring the numerous encounters I had with John Paul II at the Vatican and in Poland, I had the occasion to get to know Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and I always had the impression that he was a very direct, sincere and cordial person,â the president said.
âAll of these virtues were confirmed as Cardinal Ratzinger gave his homily during the funeral of John Paul II. His simplicity and respect for the deceased Pope was very moving,â Kwasniewski said.
âThe election of Cardinal Ratzinger as the new Pope is confirmation of the Churchâs desire to continue the work of the great Popes of the last decades, to maintain the concern for peace, justice and reconciliation in the world, as well for the unity of Europe.â