By Paweł Rytel-Andrianik

The pastoral challenges of the Church in Poland and the status of the work on the document concerning the formation to the priesthood were the main topics discussed during the 387th Plenary Meeting of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, which ended today in Łódź and Pabianice, said the Office for the Foreign Communications of the Secretariat of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.

The assembly had a new form: five working groups, whose topics were the strategy during and after the pandemic; the Church in Poland in the face of cultural changes; the Church’s presence in the socio-political sphere; the Church’s communication, and Parish pastoral action in a context of changes.

The bishops recalled that the care for married couples and families is a priority in pastoral care. “Marriages that are based on love, mutual aid, strengthened by grace, and open to life are a natural environment for growth and a gift for the Church and society,” says the communiqué.

During the meeting, the current status of the work on the document on the formation to the priesthood, Ratio institutionis sacerdotalis pro Polonia, was presented. After its approval by the Plenary Assembly of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, the document was sent to the Congregation for the Clergy.

The Bishops thanked all the people engaged in the fight against the coronavirus and recalled that “people who, for various reasons, receive Holy Communion on the hand with faith and veneration cannot be accused of disrespect for the Eucharist.”

They also thanked for support given to the scholarship holders of the Foundation “Work of the New Millennium” through the collect on October 11th, the 20th Papal Day, which will be celebrated under the slogan “Totus Tuus.”

The Plenary meeting was associated with the centennial anniversary of the establishment of the Archdiocese of Łódź and preceded by the presentation of Pope Francis’ third encyclical, Fratelli tutti on fraternity and social friendship. “Following the Holy Father, the Bishops called for concrete actions to build a world based on love, unity, and mutual responsibility for each person,” says the statement.

We are publishing the full text of the Communiqué here:

Communiqué of the 387th Plenary Meeting of the Polish Bishops’ Conference

On 5 and 6 October 2020, the 387th Plenary Meeting of the Polish Bishops’ Conference was held in Łódź and Pabianice under the leadership of Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki. The Archdiocese of Lodz was chosen as the site for the Plenary meeting because of the centennial jubilee of its establishment, which will begin in December.

  1. The meeting was preceded by the presentation of Pope Francis’ new encyclical—the third one—, Fratelli tutti on fraternity and social friendship. Following the Holy Father, the Bishops called for concrete actions to build a world based on love, unity, and mutual responsibility for each person, starting with those most in need of help. In connection with the feast of St. Francis, celebrated on Sunday, October 4th, they also recalled the need to care for the natural environment within an integral ecology.
  2. The main subject of the meeting was the pastoral challenges of the Church in Poland. The topics of the discussions, which took place in the new form of five working groups, were the strategy during and after the pandemic; the Church in Poland in the face of cultural changes; the Church’s presence in the socio-political sphere; the Church’s communication, and Parish pastoral action in a context of changes.
  3. The bishops recalled that the care for married couples and families is a priority in pastoral care. Marriages that are based on love, mutual aid, strengthened by grace, and open to life are a natural environment for growth and a gift for the Church and society. Pastoral work requires, above all, a positive message about the beauty of marriage and family life.
  4. During the meeting, the current status of the work on the document on the formation to the priesthood, Ratio institutionis sacerdotalis pro Polonia, was presented. After its approval by the Plenary Assembly of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, the document was sent to the Congregation for the Clergy. In the process of its implementation, it will be necessary to elaborate on questions such as the propaedeutic period, the pastoral time, the criteria for discernment, the role of auxiliary sciences, and other issues.
  5. The bishops recalled that people who, for various reasons, receive Holy Communion on the hand with faith and veneration cannot be accused of disrespect for the Eucharist. This manner of giving the Lord’s Body to the faithful is approved by the Holy See.
  6. Once again, the Pastors of the Church in Poland would like to thank all the people engaged in the fight against the coronavirus and help the sick and needy. Given the increasing number of cases of this illness, they ask for further help and increased prayer, especially in October, the month dedicated to praying the Rosary. They also call for compliance with sanitary instructions.
  7. On Sunday, October 11th, we will celebrate the 20th Papal Day under the slogan “Totus Tuus.” Throughout Poland, there will be a collect for the scholarship-holders of the Foundation “Work of the New Millennium.” The Bishops thank for the support given to this noble program.

The Pastors of the Catholic Church in Poland—present at the Plenary Assembly—have joined the Archdiocese of Łódź in giving thanks, and from places associated with St. Faustina Kowalska and St. Maximillian Maria Kolbe, they give their pastoral blessing to Poles in the country and abroad.

It was signed by the Pastors of the Catholic Church in Poland
present at the 387th Plenary Meeting of the Polish Bishops’ Conference

Łódź – Pabianice, 5 and 6 October 2020

(translation from Polish P. Nau / Office for the Foreign Communications of the Secretariat of the Polish Bishops’ Conference)

The post The Bishops’ Conference on Pastoral Challenges of Church in Poland appeared first on ZENIT – English.

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