By Paweł Rytel-Andrianik

The 30th anniversary of catechesis at school, pastoral challenges of the Church in Poland and protection of children and youth against sexual abuse in the Church will be the main topics of the 386th Plenary Assembly of the Polish Bishops’ Conference – announced the Secretary General of the Polish Bishops’ Conference Bishop Artur G. Miziński. The meeting will be held from 27 to 29 August at Jasna Góra. On the eve of the meeting, the bishops will take part in the celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lady of Częstochowa.

The three-day session of the Episcopate will begin on Thursday, 27 August, at 11 a.m. It will be preceded by a session of the Council of Diocesan Bishops. As Bishop Artur G. Miziński reminded, the August plenary assembly will be the first one this year, as the meeting scheduled for March and June was not held due to the pandemic.

One of the main topics of the 386th Plenary Assembly of the Polish Episcopate, as reported by the Secretary General of the Bishops, will be catechesis at school. In connection with the 30th anniversary of the return of catechesis to schools this year, the bishops will summarise the years of its presence at school.

The bishops will also discuss issues related to pastoral challenges of the Church in Poland. The topic will be introduced by Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference and Archbishop Wiktor Skworc, President of the Pastoral Commission. “After a period of restrictions related to the coronavirus, the faithful return to the churches, there is a different epidemic situation in different dioceses and guidelines adapted to it, so it is important to exchange experiences and discuss common issues related to pastoral care, as well as the challenges facing it in the near future, not only related to the coronavirus” – said Bishop Miziński.

The next topic of the plenary assembly will be the issue of protecting children and youth against sexual abuse in the Church, which will be discussed by Archbishop Wojciech Polak, the delegate of the Polish Bishops’ Conference for the Protection of Children and Youth. “Among other things, Archbishop Polak will provide information about the Saint Joseph Foundation, whose aim is to protect children and young people and help victims of sexual abuse, as well as about the functioning of the Delegate’s Office, which is located in the Secretariat of the Polish Bishops’ Conference in Warsaw” – said the Secretary General.

During the Plenary Assembly, Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz will raise the issue of the beatification of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. The bishops will also discuss issues related to the activities of Caritas Polska, youth ministry and family ministry and will listen to the report from the first meeting of the “Synodal Path” of the Church in Germany.

“The plenary meeting – apart from discussions and reports – is also the time of many bishops’ decisions and elections to the Episcopal bodies” – stressed Bishop Miziński. Two new members of the Permanent Council of the Polish Episcopate will be elected during the meeting. The bishops will also elect a new member and a new vice-chairman of the Joint Commission of Representatives of the Polish Government and the Polish Bishops’ Conference. “It will also be important to elect a new spokesman of the Episcopate. This will take place in connection with the end of the five-year term of office of Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik and his new function as International Communication Director” – informed Bishop Miziński.

Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference

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