Bishops' Conference of Poland Releases Interview with Archbishop who says Pope Francis has Distanced Himself from the German Synodal Way - FULL TEXT
President of the Episcopate about the meeting with Pope Francis
28-03-2022 - Press Release from the Bishops Conference of Poland:
The Holy Father received the President of the Polish Bishops' Conference. During the 45-minute audience, among others, about the Russian attack on Ukraine, about aid for refugees, who amount to over 2 million. they came to Poland, escaping from the effects of the war, but also for those who illegally try to cross the Polish border from the side of Belarus.
During the meeting with the Holy Father, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki also touched upon the subject of the so-called "German synodal road", to which, as the Pope himself noted, he has a great distance, seeing in it a turn towards Protestantization of the Church, which is often opposed by Protestants themselves.
While visiting the Vatican Radio, the Metropolitan of Poznań assured of Francis 'great appreciation for Poles' openness to accepting refugees from Ukraine, but also drew attention to the need for assistance in the long term, when their stay would be prolonged and become a certain nuisance. Archbishop Gądecki also noted that churches in Poland remain open to the celebration of the Eastern rite.
"When it comes to Greek Catholics, they remain part of the Catholic Church, so both services, listening to confessions in Ukrainian and liturgy - all this is possible and I trust that they will meet with kindness from Polish bishops and Polish parishes" - emphasized Archbishop Gądecki. “When it comes to the Orthodox Church, we have to be open here, that is, to enable the Orthodox to have liturgy in Ukrainian or Russian, knowing about the friction that exists between the Moscow Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. People who found themselves in Poland seem now much more open to Orthodoxy and the Greek Catholic faith than they used to be in Ukraine. From these conversations with the Orthodox and Ukrainian clergy it appears that they suddenly see an openness that has not been there before,
According to the metropolitan of Poznań, Patriarch Bartholomew's visit to Poland should clearly show that apart from Orthodoxy, which supports Russian intervention in Ukraine, there is Orthodoxy that sticks to the Gospel and is not on the "pot of the state".
Archbishop Gądecki: Refugees show a revival of faith
Krzysztof Ołdakowski SJ vaticannews / BP KEP
We publish the full text of the interview:
Archbishop today received in audience by Pope Francis. What is the form of the Holy Father?
Archbishop Gądecki: It seems to me that the Pope is a realist, he does not shy away from the fact that he is old, that he has difficulty walking, he thinks that one must serve according to the age he has.
What can we say about this meeting, what threads were present during the conversation, how long did it last, 25 minutes or more?
Archbishop Gądecki: 45 minutes. The main threads that were discussed concerned Ukraine, and thus Russia's attack on Ukraine. The next issues are accepting Ukrainian refugees in Poland, then the issues of economic migrants who have stayed in Belarus and provide a medium for presenting Poland in a bad light, who do not want to enter the legal route, which is allowed for them, but are constantly looking for an illegal way to cross the Polish border because they would not like to leave their signature and thus be assigned to Poland, and not to Western Europe, where they are trying to reach. The fourth issue is related to the German synodal road. These are the main topics that were touched upon, apart from many, also personal ones.
In recent weeks, the Holy Father has often emphasized the great commitment of Poles to solidarity in helping refugees from Ukraine. What did the Pope say to the Archbishop on this subject?
Archbishop Gądecki: This is actually what we ourselves feel, namely that in Italy, in Poland, people welcome Ukrainian refugees very willingly. The Pope pointed out, however, that we need to look at a more long-term perspective, if this situation was prolonged and if this stay became a certain nuisance for the Polish side. The Holy Father is aware of this, he has already spoken about this problem after the Angelus prayer. The head of the Italian episcopate is more focused on the issue of these migrants on the Belarusian border, and I think that this is the main focus of his interest and also of the European Union press, which tries to criticize Poland because of its behavior towards migrants on the Belarusian border, rather than praise it, when it comes to behavior towards war refugees from Ukraine.
Among the refugees who came to Poland, a large part are Catholics of the Eastern Rite who have their own spiritual needs. They want to pray in their rite, they want to pray in their own tongues. How will our Catholic Church in Poland meet their desires?
Archbishop Gądecki: With all openness. Practically, when it comes to Greek Catholics, they are part of the Catholic Church, so both services, as well as hearing confessions in Ukrainian and liturgy - all this, I trust, will be met with kindness from Polish bishops and Polish parishes. As far as the Orthodox are concerned, I already at KAI gave me the message on how to behave with regard to giving Holy Communion to the Orthodox. Archbishop Sawa thanked for the correct transfer of the Orthodox teaching. It seems that we need to be open, i.e. to allow Orthodox worship in Ukrainian or Russian, being aware of the friction that exists between the Moscow Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Ukrainians who found themselves in Poland, they seem now much more open to Orthodoxy and to the Greek Catholic faith than they used to be in Ukraine. I do not know what to think about it, but conversations with the Orthodox and Greek Catholic clergy show that they perceive an openness that has never been seen in Ukraine before.
Tomorrow, Archbishop will have the opportunity to meet Patriarch Bartholomew, who enjoys unquestionable authority in the Orthodox world and speaks very positively about the intervention of Pope Francis. What hopes do you link to this meeting?
Archbishop Gądecki: These hopes are to some extent contained in the behavior of the Patriarch of Constantinople so far. He has an honorary priority over all patriarchates as the patriarch of the entire East, and so far he has been critical of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, and we would like to achieve a very simple goal thanks to this meeting, namely to draw attention to the fact that there is an Orthodox Church that is trying to to hold the Gospel, which is not on the "pot" of the state, but by serving the Gospel. This is basically the purpose of this invitation by Patriarch Bartholomew to Poland. In a way, it is about saving the honor of the Orthodox Church.
The Archbishop also noticed that the Pope asked the clergy and clerics to maintain their faith in the People of God.
Archbishop Gądecki :. The conviction that Poles are deeply devout people is deeply in the mind and heart of the Holy Father. The Pope is convinced that our foundation is a simple faith that supports the Polish clergy. The priest can draw strength from the faith of the People of God, and the cleric, by frequently visiting the parish, can observe not only the desires of the elite. The faith of the People of God is the faith of deeds, not only the faith of ideas, and therefore the Pope shows a safer way: to stick to the faith of the People of God.
During the meeting with Francis, the topic of the German synodal road also appeared.
Archbishop Gądecki: Yes, I referred it first to this letter which I addressed to Bishop. Bätzing and who caused such a stir. The Holy Father replied that he respected Bishop. Bätzing as a good man, but when it comes to the "so-called" German synodal path, he has a great distance to it and practically sees that it is a path that can lead to the Protestantization of the Church, to such Protestantization, against which Protestants themselves often oppose.
With Archbishop. Stanisław Gądecki was interviewed by Fr. Krzysztof Ołdakowski SJ from Vatican Radio - Vatican News