The hope of the Church can only subsist on trusting the Holy Spirit and placing our various habits and ideas under His rule. The future can only be built on humility,” said Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, after concluding a three-day retreat for Synod participants in Sacrofano.
During the retreat, issues such as striving for the unity of the universal Church and communication were addressed before the synodal deliberations, among others. “Conversation can have a different dimension each time. During the retreat, the aim was to prepare the synodal fathers and delegates to a conversation, expressed in both verbal and non-verbal speech and the contexts in which it is carried out,” Archbishop Gądecki said.
In addition, Fr. Timothy Radcliffe OP, who led the retreat, highlighted the issue of cultural differences and the need for mutual listening and unity following the model of the Holy Trinity. The retreat leader also addressed the modern understanding of beauty, truth, and goodness as authority. “Beauty, truth, and goodness are salvific only when they are synonymous with Christ,” the President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference stressed. During the retreat, the Church was also portrayed as a permanent home to which one can always return.
During their group meetings, retreat participants voiced their thoughts on the Church, referenced previous statements, summarized similarities, and identified differences. “What I find valuable about this method is that it is interspersed with long moments of silence because this creates a peaceful and matter-of-fact atmosphere,” Archbishop Gądecki said. He added that the method developed will accompany the Synod participants during their work in working groups.
Translated by Sr. Amata J. Nowaszewska / Office for Foreign Communication of the Polish Bishops’ Conference