At the conference organized in the Press Centre, Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki and the Primate of Poland Wojciech Polak commented on the first day of Pope Francis' visit in Poland. They also spoke about the meeting with the representatives of the Polish Episcopate.
“There was a warm atmosphere at the meeting,” shares Archbishop Gadecki. “I was under the impression that he talked to us like he talks to children. The pope responded with simple explanations to all questions, using many examples from his life as a bishop as well as his time as pope,” says the archbishop.
The Holy Father mentioned Cardinal Macharski who is in a coma and cannot be visited at the moment. “He said he would like to go to the clinic and touch its walls to express his unity with the cardinal,” adds Arch. Gadecki.
The chairman of the Polish Episcopal Conference has also disclosed the questions that the pope answered during the meeting with the bishops. The first question was about the secularization of Europe and what the Polish reaction to this process should be. Mercy and proclaiming mercy in the conditions we live in was the second subject brought up by the Polish Episcopate. The next question concerned parish life. The last question was about refugees and what our position with regards to receiving them should be.
Then, Archbishop Wojciech Polak brought attention to a question put forward by Pope Francis, one which concerns older people. The pope encouraged them to build bridges between young people and older people who can share their wisdom and their own experiences. “In the end, when he blessed us, he told us to remember about grandparents,” said the Polish Primate. “So long as we are immersed in the world of young people,” he continued, “I think that it is worth remembering that youth also have a special role in society and great sensitivity to those in need.”
Italian presbyter Federico Lombardi, director of the Press Office to the Holy See from 2006-2016, was also present at the conference in the Press Center. He commented on the first days of Pope Francis' pilgrimage to Poland. He stressed the Holy Father's words to journalists while he journeyed on a plane. The pope talked about those steeped in a “war in pieces,” recalling the crimes committed upon a French priest in Normandy as well as the situation of Christians and the deaths of innocent children, among others, in Africa. When Fr. Lombardi highlighted these things, the pope did not call this a war of religions, but rather, a war of interests and control of nations.
Photos Piotr Drzewiecki