Pope Francis says "...the Holy Spirit has inscribed these two essential aspects of Christianity - mercy and ecumenism - in the "DNA" of your Church..." to Pilgrims from Poland - FULL TEXT
ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE PILGRIMAGE OF THE ARCHIDIOCESE OF ŁÓDŹ (POLAND)
Paul VI Audience Hall
Thursday, 28 April 2022
Dear brothers and sisters, dzień dobry ! [good morning!]
I warmly welcome you to the tomb of the Apostle Peter, a few meters from the place of his martyrdom. Here we hear the echo of his words resound clearly and relentlessly: "Lord, you know that I love you" (cf. Jn 21:16). Here we are confronted with the strong and radical testimony of him.
Your presence here is also a testimony. Testimony of your faith and your love for the Church. It is a beautiful manifestation of your spiritual stature and your love for the Pope, to whom the Lord, in his mercy, has entrusted the ministry of St. Peter today.
I thank you for your desire to meet me; for your numerous, varied and festive company; for your openness to the Pope's magisterium: I know that during the years of the pastoral Synod of your Diocese you have read carefully the documents of my magisterium. I thank you in particular for your prayers according to the intentions of the Pope: I need them. I too am praying for you, and I am ready to listen to you very carefully. This is the aim of the current path of the Synod of Bishops, on the theme "For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission". Now its first stage is coming to an end, the diocesan one, also the one in your Diocese. I hope that you have not only committed yourselves to this Synod, but that you have already tasted its experience, rediscovering the beauty of ecclesial communion,
The pilgrimage is also a beautiful image of the synodal Church, which walks the paths of the Apostles, walks together , as a family of sisters and brothers, coming from different parishes and from different communities and ecclesial groups: priests and lay faithful, married people and consecrated. There are here, full of strength and enthusiasm, several young people, including many university students; there are the scouts; there are also homeless people and people with disabilities.
I am very pleased that the civil authorities are with you: the President of the Regional Council, the Voivode and the Mayor of the city of Łódź.
I feel great joy seeing such a large representation of brothers and sisters belonging to other Christian Churches. I cordially greet the Orthodox Bishop and the Calvinist Bishop. I greet the members of the Łódź section of the Polish Ecumenical Council, present here with their President. I know that your presence here and your common prayer in Rome are part of the continuous and daily ecumenical relations and activities. Your communion in diversity is a sign of synodality, synodality in deeds. Thanks.
And I would like to thank your Christian brothers for your presence. At another time we excommunicated each other. Now we are called brothers thanks be to God. In this way continue the unity among us all. Thanks! We need this unity. Thanks!
Dear friends, you have come on pilgrimage to Rome to conclude the centenary Jubilee of the Diocese. During this Jubilee Year you have remembered the beginnings of your Church, especially of your first Bishop, Mgr. Wincenty Tymieniecki. He was a man of great mercy and great ecumenical sensitivity. Through his episcopal ministry the Holy Spirit has inscribed these two essential aspects of Christianity - mercy and ecumenism - in the "DNA" of your Church of Łódź, as a legacy and task for the generations to come.
Today mercy requires a great "imagination", a great creativity that makes us become apostles of mercy, poets of mercy. It takes poetry of Mercy today. Mercy has many faces, as many as there are people injured and fallen to the ground. Each carries within itself some wounds, although not all of them are visible. I cordially bless your works of charity, even those carried out in a personal, spontaneous and hidden way. I bless those who open their minds and hearts, who open homes and resources to the sick, the elderly, the unemployed, the homeless, immigrants, to all the poor, suffering and marginalized, and to children who need a home and family. . It is thus, by opening the doors, by opening everything, that the Church assumes the most evangelical face, that of the Good Samaritan,
Bishop Tymieniecki knew how to unite in himself the courage of mercy and the courage of ecumenism, both. He chose the path of ecumenism long before the Catholic Church took it officially. I urge you to keep this courage of your first Shepherd alive in you. To safeguard ecumenical determination, recalling that ecumenism in the Church is not an optional or a decorative thing, but an essential attitude. I encourage you to walk together, in theological reflection and evangelization, in common prayer and in listening to the Word of God, in the witness of fraternity. On this path you build the local society, which you proudly call the "community of the four cultures".
The Jubilee is also an opportunity to send greetings. Therefore I would like to wish all of you to come out of the Jubilee experience renewed as a Church. Renewed and strengthened for evangelization . The vocation of the Church is to evangelize; the joy of the Church is to evangelize, said the Holy Pope Paul VI. May the Holy Spirit help you to interpret the new challenges that time puts before us; to discern the appropriate tools to address them. I wish you the credibility, coherence and attractive form of the testimony; to experience and cultivate ever more fraternal relationships in your Church; to be a beautiful Church that lives “outgoing”, which like yeast makes all the dough ferment; which has the strength of the mustard seed which is the smallest yet becomes a tree where birds can make their nests (cf. Mt 13:32).
The Lord bless you! May the prayer and intercession of Mother God, of Saint Joseph - patron of the Diocese - and of Saint Faustina, patroness of Łódź accompany you. Please don't forget to pray for me. Dziękuję ! [Thanks]