Bishops of Poland make Appeal for Fasting and Prayer for Peace - Reminding Everyone of St. Pope John Paul II's Defense of Unborn
OF THE PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE POLISH BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE ON PROTECTION OF LIFE AND SOCIAL PEACE
Today, as a wave of street protests sweeps through our country, pope Francis addressed important and meaningful words to Poles during the General Audience. In them, he recalled St. John Paul II, who “always called for special love for the weak and defenseless and for the protection of every human life from its conception to its natural death.” These words are part of the Church’s constant call for protection, including legal protection, of the life of every human being, including the unborn, in accordance with the commandment “Thou shalt not kill”.
Pope Francis asked God “to awaken in everyone’s hearts respect for the lives of our brothers and sisters, especially the weakest and defenseless, and to give strength to those who accept and care for them, even when it requires heroic love.” The commandment of love imposes on us an important duty of caring, helping, and giving mothers and families who receive and raise sick children the protection they need. We thank all communities and institutions that have been doing this for years, and we appeal to parishes, Catholic movements, and other church organizations to undertake specific initiatives to meet those who need and will need both individual and institutional help. The Church will always stand for life and support initiatives that protect it.
We observe with great pain the escalation of social tension and aggression. The vulgar language used by some of the protesters, the destruction of social property, the devastation of churches, the profanation of sacred places, or prevention of the liturgy there are also disturbing. We call on everyone to engage in meaningful social dialogue, to express their views without resorting to violence, and to respect the dignity of every human being. We ask politicians and all participants of the social debate, at this dramatic time, to thoroughly analyze the causes of the situation and look for ways out, in the spirit of truth and for the common good, without instrumentalizing matters regarding the faith and the Church.
We thank the pastors and all the lay faithful who are courageously defending their churches. Nobody can defend the Church and sacred objects better than the community of believers. We also thank the security services. The Church wants to remain open to all people, regardless of their social and political affiliation.
We are also going through an exceedingly difficult time because of the restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. This is an enormous challenge for all of us. In the name of care for safety and health, we constantly appeal for solidarity and compliance with the sanitary safety regulations. We express our gratitude to all medical agents for their work and heroic dedication.
We also ask all believers to fast, to give alms, and to pray for social peace, with the intention of protecting life, putting an end to the ongoing crisis, and ending the developing pandemic. We will present the text of the prayer prepared for this time.
We bless all our compatriots.
The Members of the Permanent Council of the Polish Bishops’ Conference