Youth ministry, pastoral care of families and prevention of abuse of minors are the main topics of the 380th Plenary Assembly of the Polish Bishops’ Conference that is taking place on 25 and 26 September in Plock, in connection with the jubilee of the 450th anniversary of the death of St. Stanislaus Kostka, who was born in Rostkowo, in the diocese of Plock.
The main issue discussed during the plenary assembly will be the pastoral care of youth in Poland before the 15th Plenary Assembly of Bishops. It will take place from October 3 to 28 in Rome under the motto “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment”. As Bishop Artur G. Mizinski, Secretary General of the Polish Bishops’ Conference informed, both the place and the subject of the plenary assembly are connected with the figure of St. Stanislaus Kostka, the Patron saint of youth.
Bishop Marek Solarczyk, president of the Council for the Youth Ministry, will speak about young people during the session. He will present the topics of speeches of the representatives of the Polish Bishops’ Conference at the Synod of bishops. “We will have the opportunity to get to know the figure of St. Stanislaus Kostka, as a Pole, Masovian, as a young man discerning the vocation” – said Bishop Mizinski.
The second theme of the plenary assembly is the pastoral care of families discussed in the context of the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland, which took place from 22 to 26 August. Another topic is the prevention of sexual abuse of minors. This matter will be addressed to by the Primate of Poland Archbishop Wojciech Polak as the president of the Commission for the Clergy. He will refer, i. a., to work of the Child Protection Center and coordinator of the protection of children and adolescents, Fr. Adam Żak SJ. “This topic will be raised in the dimension of evaluation of the preventive actions of the Church in Poland and seeking new solutions, both in relation to clergy and victims” – said the General Secretary of the Episcopate. He emphasized that the care for the victims is a priority for both Pope Francis and the Church in Poland.
The plenary assembly – as Bishop Mizinski said – is also part of the year-round cycle of celebrations related to the 100th anniversary of Poland’s regaining independence, as well as the 50th anniversary of the Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference. “We have many joyous circumstances to experience and evaluate the time that has passed and to plan the future” – he stressed.
“I believe that the plenary session will bring blessed fruits in the form of various proposals, solutions and concrete actions that will contribute to the fact that the Church can be a witness of God’s presence among us and of the Gospel, which becomes the life of all of us and of the entire community of the Church” – said Bishop Mizinski. On behalf of the bishops, he asked all the faithful to pray for the fruitful debates of the plenary assembly in Plock.
Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference