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
28th October 2020
PRAYER FOR PEACE
(based on the Letter to the Ephesians)
Lord Jesus Christ,
You who are our peace
You who broke down the wall of hostility between people,
You who bring together people who were separated,
You who eliminated enmity in yourself!
Please, also destroy any enmity in us!
Enlighten the eyes of our hearts, so that we will stop looking at each other as adversaries, and let us see all cohabitants united in Your House and also in this house which is called Poland.
Convert the thoughts we have about each other and give us words and deeds to measure this conversion.
Put in our mouths, and even earlier in our thoughts, words that build up, instead of destroying; that heal, instead of inflicting wounds; that comfort, instead of taking hope away; that bring peace, and do not provoke aggression.
Show us the deeds of concrete love and mercy around which we will rebuild our community. Especially in this difficult moment of the pandemic, lead us to the sick and the elderly, to those in quarantine and to those who mourn their dead. Increase our self-sacrifice and compassion.
Make each of us into a “new person,” and there will be peace!
We pray for everyone!
Asking wisdom and the desire for the common good for those who raise their voices in the present dispute,
For politicians of all options in parliament and elsewhere,
For those who pray in churches and for those who demonstrate,
For those who believe in God and for those who derive the values of truth, justice, goodness, and beauty from “other sources,”
And also for those who are not looking for them at the moment.
May you, whether you are recognized or not, find the way to each of us, show us the right paths to meet each other. And, then, effectively lead us on them.