By Paweł Rytel-Andrianik

“I would like to thank all the faithful for their discipline, the priests for their Sunday ministry and the medical services for their service to life,” said Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference. He expressed his hope that from the current situation of the pandemic the good of seeking the Word of God will arise.

Due to the current state of epidemic threat in Poland, state authorities have introduced a limitation of congregations – including Masses and services – to 50 people. Because of this and out of concern for the safety of the faithful, the Permanent Council of the Polish Episcopate has introduced special rules to be in force until 29 March during the liturgy in churches.

On Sunday, March 15, the faithful in individual parishes took advantage of the dispensation from participating in Sunday Mass and followed the Eucharist broadcast in the media, as encouraged by the President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference and diocesan bishops.

Archbishop Gądecki recalled also the words of Pope Francis, who said that the Church is a “field hospital”. “The Church is the sacrament of salvation. The Church is everywhere where God is loved and where man is loved +in an imperfect world+. That is why – respecting the recommendations of the sanitary authorities – we do not close churches. For believers, the temple is always a place of a special experience of God’s presence and God’s love, especially in the Eucharist, from which we draw strength and inner peace” – said Archbishop Gądecki.

The President of the Polish Episcopate emphasized that every evening at 8.30 p.m. he will pray the rosary for the faithful and he asked the priests in churches as well as the faithful at home for the same. “Let us remain united in prayer,” the President of the Polish Episcopate appealed.

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