“The family, catechesis, and the life of the Church – these are three elements that interrelate,” said Bishop Artur G. Mizinski, Secretary-General of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, during a press conference after the proceedings of the 392nd Plenary Meeting of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, held June 6-7 at the Formation and Training Center „Księżówka” in Zakopane.
Bishop Mizinski emphasized that “a family is a basic unit of not only of social life but also the Church; it is also the domestic Church and the place of the first education – including religious formation. Religious education and formation at school, with the participation of numerous catechists – laity, clergy, and consecrated persons, is the completion of the process, which is to lead to the formation of a mature attitude of faith of the faithful, involved in the life of the Church as it rediscovers its synodality. In other words, the Church as one family co-responsible for the Church,” the Secretary-General of the Episcopate noted.
Bishop Mizinski also referred to the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Zakopane. “We were happy to have the opportunity to be together with the faithful people of Podhale – as the Holy Father John Paul II said – for whom we had counted and we were not disappointed in any way. We are leaving here filled with joy,” Bishop Mizinski added.
Archbishop Adrian Galbas, President of the Council for the Apostolate of the Laity, summed up the diocesan stage of the synod of bishops on synodality. “The whole Church is invited to be a space of encounter for itself and the world. Numerous meetings were successfully held in each diocese,” he said.
“The positive attitude toward the synod has grown among those who have been involved in it. A national synthesis will be prepared by the end of August. Local syntheses are now being developed in the dioceses. They show that the Church is diverse, but many problems are common,” Archbishop Galbas noted.
Bishop Wojciech Osial, Chairman of the Commission for Catholic Education referred to the main topic at the plenary meeting, which was catechesis. “We are all aware of the challenges facing catechization in Poland. We deal with very intense cultural, social and religious transformations. This gives rise to various crises and difficulties in faith among people. We also experience a crisis of faith in the family.” he said.
Bishop Osial admitted that the bishops strongly emphasized that catechesis cannot be limited to classes at school. “The true and deepest education in faith takes place in the environment of faith, which is the parish. And hence the strong emphasis on reviving catechetical activities in the parish,” he added.
“New directions for catechization in Poland will be the main content of the new Catechetical Directory we are thinking about because the current one is over 20 years old,” Bishop Osial pointed out.
“The focus on parish catechesis does not in any way mean resignation from religion classes at school. These are two complementary realities that complement each other,” Bishop Osial stressed.
Translated by Sr. Amata J. Nowaszewska / Office for Foreign Communication of the Polish Bishops’ Conference