The archbishop of Poznań, western Poland, explained how Poland’s Catholics are making an unprecedented effort to support refugees, as well as sending aid to Ukraine.
The bishops’ conference said that Gądecki also outlined his steps “to intensify joint actions of Christians of different denominations for a just peace.”
The 72-year-old archbishop cited the joint message of bishops in Ukraine and Poland in January, his pre-invasion appeal to Orthodox and Catholic leaders in Russia and Ukraine, and his letter to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.
He told the pope that he planned to meet with Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s Eastern Orthodox Christians, in the Polish capital Warsaw on March 29.
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda is expected to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican later this week.
“The Holy Father expressed thanks for all the actions taken by the Church in Poland and assured of his spiritual support,” the Polish bishops’ conference said. “He asked the clergy and seminarians to remain close to the faith of the people of God. He also bestowed his apostolic blessing.”
Pope Francis sent a 19-page letter to German Catholics in June 2019, urging them to focus on evangelizing in the face of a “growing erosion and deterioration of faith.”
His most recent public comments about the Synodal Way came in September 2021, in an interview with the Spanish radio station COPE.
Asked if the initiative gave him sleepless nights, the pope recalled that he wrote an extensive letter that expressed “everything I feel about the German synod.”
Responding to the interviewer’s comment that the Church had faced similar challenges in the past, he said: “Yes, but I wouldn’t get too tragic either. There is no ill will in many bishops with whom I spoke.”
“It is a pastoral desire, but one that perhaps does not take into account some things that I explain in the letter that need to be taken into account.”
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