The President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference most dangerous foreign visit

22-02-2016
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Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki’s visit to Damascus coincided with the impending terrorist attack that took the lives of more than 80 individuals. Even though the Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki flew out of Syria before the attack took place it was neverthelss the most dangerous, yet at the same time, the most important visit by the President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.

At the end of the 6 day visit which concluded on February 22nd, Gądecki emphasised that „the purpose of this visit is ecclesiastical, we do not wish to treat this visit as a political endeavor or even a strictly humanitarian mission. In the words of St. Paul; ‘if one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it (1 Corinthians 12:26), that is why we want to strengthen ur brothers’ hope with the help of God. We have seen the horrors of war but also the glimmer of hope that shines through it empowered by faith. We prayed for those who have perished and for those who are suffering.”

The head of the Polish Bishop’s Conference has visited Syria and Lebanon along with Fr. Waldemar Cisło, the director of the Polish office of the Aid to the Church in Need (Kirche in Not). Since 2009, the bishops of Poland have been cooperating the organization and fundraising within their respective dioceses  to support the needy in countries like India, Sudan, Nigeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria. Over the past two years all donations have been directed towards the efforts in Syria. Approximately 10 million PLN (approx. €2.3 million) was donated thanks to the charity of Poland’s Catholics. Hundreds of thousands of people are benefitting from these efforts including non-Christians.

Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik
Press Secretary of the Polish Bishop’s Conference