We take it to be our main goal to show to Catholics that in spite of difficult issues, we must believe in the Church and trust Her. We need to believe in the Church because it is a dual reality, Divine and human. We must trust the Church because She is founded on the authority of God Himself, said Bishop Andrzej Czaja, Chairman of the Pastoral Ministry Commission of the Polish Bishops’ Conference. A new Pastoral Program for the years 2022/2023 was unveiled during a press conference in the Secretariat of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.
Bishop Czaja explained that the draft pastoral programme entitled “I believe in Christ’s Church” grows out of an analysis of the current situation of the Church, which is commonly seen as difficult. As the bishop indicated, “It is therefore clear that a major effort must be made towards the renewal of the Church. There is a need to mobilise Catholics for this work of renewal of the Church, and the Pastoral Ministry Commission of the Polish Bishops’ Conference recognised that to stimulate and strengthen faith in the Church, which is in crisis, would be adequate preparation”.
“Increasingly, we do not believe what the Church says and we do not know the message She communicates to us. The world, certain circles are increasingly encroaching on the Church. It is therefore necessary to explore the truth about the Church, which is revealed to us by God himself,” Bishop Czaja pointed out.
Chairman of the Pastoral Ministry Commission of the Polish Bishops’ Conference pointed out that the Synod convened by Pope Francis under the motto “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission” is a very concrete answer as to what direction to take. “The vision of the conciliar Church is a vision of a communal, open and servant Church. Thus we get from the Pope a clear direction for the renewal of the Church and the need for a change of the mindset: we need to become more aware that it is not so much that we go to the Church, but that we are the Church and make up the Church; the Holy Spirit and us. This is, then, a concrete hint on how to engage in this subject +I believe in Christ’s Church+,” he noted.
Bishop Czaja observed: “We take it to be our main goal to show to Catholics that in spite of difficult issues, we must believe in the Church and trust Her. We need to believe in the Church because it is a dual reality, Divine and human. Without the faith, one cannot grasp and comprehend the mystery of the Church. This is truly the concretisation of the faith in God. We must trust the Church because She is founded on the authority of God Himself. The Church will be credible inasmuch as She is obedient to God and is engaged in Divine matters. We must love the Church as it is given to us as God’s home.”
Newly created bishop Waldemar Musioł, Secretary of the Pastoral Ministry Commission of the Polish Bishops’ Conference pointed out, that “The pastoral program responds to the current needs of the Church in Poland and will follow three basic implementation tracks, primarily in parishes, but not only. The first track, arising from the very nature of the Church, is the preaching of the Word of God and parish catechesis.” Bishop Musioł added that the program contains a range of concrete, hands-on proposals for parish priests to be carried out in parishes: homiletical resources, catechetical workbook and proposal for parish catechesis.
The second track is the preaching the truth about the Church, not only in the communications media. Bishop Musioł observed: “In recent years, because of the epidemic and the attendant constraints, we have come to discover in the Church the inestimable value of the communications media. Not only did they provide information, but often offered evangelising message to sustain a community of prayer, especially in parishes. It was also a channel of communication between priests and the faithful. We want to inspire pastors and dioceses to even more effectively use the information channels they already have embraced. We firmly believe that the truth about the Church will also go through these channels and inspire questions and a creative exchange of ideas.”
The third track is the continuation of the work of the synod, taken up during the first, diocesan stage, which has just been concluded. “We want to continue this synodality of the Church and pursue it in an attempt to realise the goal of restoring credibility to the Church and inviting co-responsibility for the Church,” pointed out Bishop Musioł.
Dr. Ewa Porada, diocesan advisor on family life of the Archdiocese of Katowice and coordinator of the team engaged in work on the project “Resources for Families” within the “I believe in Christ’s Church” pastoral program, observed that the new track, launched this year, was an initiative of the laity: married couples and families. “They wish to be active and vibrant members of the Church. The resources are meant to show to families and married couples their place in the Church as laity so that they may discover their charisms and gifts.”
“Resources for Families” are available in electronic form and are prepared for every Sunday of the year. As Dr. Porada showed, “Our role as laity is to communicate the faith in the communities in which we live and work. We want to show that each and every one of us is responsible for the Church. This is to urge us to take concrete action on behalf of the Church.”
Fr. Dr. Łukasz Nycz, deputy director of the office of “The Work of the New Millennium Foundation” for the formation of the scholarship holders, noticed that the Pastoral Ministry Commission of the Polish Bishops’ Conference had asked the Foundation what kind of resources young people would like to work with. He stressed that “The young people pointed out the social dimension, i.e. the preparation of a certain profile on social media that would show why it is worthwhile to be in the Church. Above all, the young people expected to see witnesses in order to, on the one hand, strengthen those who are already in the Church and, on the other hand, reach out to those who keep their distance from the Church.”
Press Office, Polish Bishops’ Conference
(Translated by M. Turski / Office for Foreign Communication of the Polish Bishops’ Conference)