The Permanent Council of the Polish Episcopal Conference Appeals for Prayer and Help for Our Sisters and Brothers from Ukraine

25-02-2022
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A call for prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine and help for war refugees coming to Poland— these were the main topics of the extraordinary meeting of the Permanent Council of the Polish Bishops’ Conference held online on 25 February 2022.

During the meeting of the PBC Permanent Council, the bishops condemned the Russian president’s barbaric decision to launch military action against Ukraine. “Together with Pope Francis and the international community, they call for restraint and the end to military actions that cause many casualties, including civilians,” we read in the communiqué published after the meeting. At the same time, they “assure all people of good will in Ukraine of spiritual support for their right to self-determination and to determine their own destiny in their own country.”

Aware that the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine could soon lead to a large wave of refugees, the bishops asked everyone to “adopt a Christian attitude towards the refugees coming to our country.” The members of the PBC Permanent Council appealed to “receive sisters and brothers from Ukraine in homes, hostels, diocesan and parish retreat houses, and all places where help can be provided to people in need.”

The communiqué states that immediate and long-term assistance will be provided by the structures of Caritas Poland, diocesan and parish Caritas, the Team for Assistance to the Church in the East at the Polish Episcopal Conference and other Church institutions. The initial financial support for the current crisis actions has already been granted.

The bishops asked all the faithful in Poland to pray unceasingly for peace in Ukraine. They also encourage all the diocesan bishops to issue instructions regarding prayer for this intention at every Mass and the recitation of supplications. They also recommended fasting for the intention of saving the lives and health of sisters and brothers in Ukraine.

The members of the PBC Permanent Council also asked that collections be organized after each Mass this Sunday and on Ash Wednesday to help those affected by the current crisis in Ukraine.

Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference

We are publishing the full text of the communiqué:

COMMUNIQUÉ
OF THE PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE POLISH BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE
AFTER THE ONLINE MEETING ON 25 FEBRUARY 2022

On February 25, 2022, the Permanent Council of the Polish Bishops’ Conference gathered online for an emergency meeting regarding the recent events in Ukraine.

  1. The bishops are following the dramatic media reports coming out of this country with great attention, concern and anxiety. They embrace with their prayers especially the millions of people who have been affected by Russia’s brutal military attack. They also pray for all those for all those in power and in government throughout the world, calling on them to continue to make resolute efforts to resolve the conflict and save many people from death, pain, and suffering.
  2. The bishops condemn in the strongest terms the barbaric decision of the Russian president to launch military action against Ukraine. Together with Pope Francis and the international community, they call for restraint and the end to military actions that cause many casualties, including civilians.
  3. At the same time, the bishops express their appreciation and respect for the Ukrainian people, who are defending with determination the sovereignty of their country and its independence. They assure all people of good will in Ukraine of spiritual support for their right to self-determination and to determine their own destiny in their own country.
  4. The bishops are aware that failure to reach an agreement and escalation of the conflict in Ukraine could lead to a large wave of refugees in the short term. People fleeing the war will head mainly to our country. Therefore, on behalf of the Catholic Church in Poland, they ask everyone adopt a Christian attitude towards the refugees coming to our country. The Church declares, with full respect for Polish law and the procedures set forth by the Polish government, to support people who will need such help. The bishops ask that sisters and brothers from Ukraine be received in homes, hostels, diocesan and parish retreat houses, and all places where help can be provided to people in need. This will be a witness to our faith. In the past, including during the martial law in the 1980s, we ourselves frequently experienced such selfless help.
  5. Through the structures of Caritas Poland, diocesan and parish Caritas, the Team for Assistance to the Church in the East at the Polish Episcopal Conference, and other Church institutions, short-term and long-term assistance will be provided. The initial financial support for the current crisis actions has already been granted. The actions undertaken will require great mobilization of all people of good will. We trust that many volunteers will participate in these actions. The bishops ask that, in the spirit of solidarity and Christian charity, volunteer help be given in local structures. At the same time, they express their gratitude for all the initiatives, solidarity, and help given so far.
  6. The Permanent Council of the Polish Bishops’ Conference asks all the faithful in Poland to pray unceasingly for peace in Ukraine. The Council encourages all the diocesan bishops to issue instructions regarding prayer for this intention at every Mass and the recitation of supplications. It also recommends fasting for the intention of saving the lives and health of our sisters and brothers in Ukraine. The Permanent Council also asks that collections be organized after each Mass this Sunday and on Ash Wednesday to help those affected by the current crisis in Ukraine.

Let us pray that this conflict will not escalate into a European or world war. In this exceedingly difficult moment, the members of the Permanent Council embrace with care and prayer all people of good will, especially those affected by the drama of war, and give them their pastoral blessing.

The Permanent Council of the Polish Bishops’ Conference

25 February 2022