The annual meeting of the contact group of the Episcopates of Poland and Germany is taking place on 23-25 April in Lublin. The host of the meeting this year is Archbishop Stanisław Budzik, President of the Team of the Polish Episcopate for Contacts with the German Bishops’ Conference.

The main topic of the meeting focuses on issues concerning the ongoing war in Ukraine. On the second day, members of the group heard a report on the visit of Bishop Bertram Meier, Ordinary of Augsburg, to Ukraine, during which he visited Kyiv and Lviv. He also met with Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

Members of the group from the Polish side focused on the new challenges facing the Church in Poland and the issue of catechism classes in schools. In addition, they referred to ecological initiatives and the related farmers’ protests.

On the German side, issues related to the German Synodal Path process were addressed. The German members of the group also discussed a document by the German bishops entitled „Ethnic Nationalism and Christianity are irreconcilable”, on the far-right movements in Germany and the position of the German Bishops’ Conference towards them. The German hierarchs also presented a periodical on peace, published by the German Bishops’ Conference every few years, which in its latest edition takes into account the issues of military and psychological violence in connection with the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Between the working sessions, members of the group visited the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, including the academic church. They also visited the State Museum at Majdanek, where the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp from 1941 to 1944 was located. After placing flowers in front of the gas chamber, the members of the group recited the prayer that St John Paul II offered to God during his visit to Majdanek on 9 June 1987.

Participating in the meeting of the contact group are, from the German side, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne, Bishop Wolfgang Ipold of Görlitz, and the head of the Justitia et Pax Commission, Jörg Lüer; from the Polish side, Archbishop Stanisław Budzik, Metropolitan of Lublin and President of the Team of the Polish Episcopate for Contacts with the German Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, Metropolitan of Warsaw, Bishop Tadeusz Lityński, Bishop of Zielona Góra and Gorzów, and Msgr Jarosław Mrówczyński, Deputy Secretary General of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, are present.

Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference

Photo: Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference