The Catholic Church in Poland thanks you for your ministry in our Homeland and wishes wholeheartedly that your new mission will bring much spiritual good to the whole Catholic Church,” said the President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki to Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, the outgoing Apostolic Nuncio to Poland. During the Eucharist celebrated on 13 March 2023 with the participation of the Polish Bishops’ Conference at the Divine Providence Church in Warsaw, thanks were also given for 10 years of the pontificate of Pope Francis.

The full text of the letter of thanksgiving follows:

His Excellency, Apostolic Nuncio to Poland,

On 6 August 2016, Holy Father Francis appointed you as his representative in Poland, and you joyfully assumed your duties in our homeland as of 3 November of that year.


Some of these duties were ordinary; others were extraordinary. The ordinary duties of the Nuncio, as you say yourself, included what can be described by the word „mediation”. The Nuncio is entrusted with the task of transmitting information in two directions: from the ecclesiastical institutions in a given country to the Holy See and the other way round. Although he participates in the drafting of certain decisions of the local Church, he is not the one who takes them; he has no decision-making prerogatives when it comes to ecclesiastical structures. As far as State structures are concerned, he performs a role similar to that of Ambassadors of other States in the framework of the customs laid down in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

You, Your Excellency, brought us the treasure of ample experience of work in numerous diplomatic missions of the Holy See (in Panama, Ethiopia, Australia, Turkey, Egypt, Yugoslavia and Ireland; in Rwanda, Thailand, Singapore and Cambodia, as well as in Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia and Brunei, in India and Nepal) and from the very beginning we were endeared to you because of your love for Saint John Paul II.

One of your more important tasks in Poland was to select and submit candidates for the episcopal office to the Pope. This was an extremely responsible task, as the future shape of the Church in our country depends on the right choice of candidates, although the final decision, based on detailed reports, rests with the Holy Father. In the course of these processes, you became Co-Consecrator of 20 Polish bishops and Chief Consecrator of one of them.

You accompanied the pilgrimage of Pope Francis in Poland. You helped arrange the last ad limina apostolorum visit at the Vatican and mediated in the process of developing a synod on synodality in our country. You played an active role in the celebration of the 1050th anniversary of the Baptism of Poland. You have visited a great number of Polish parishes and officiated at celebrations held there.

During the more than six-year of your stay in Poland, you had numerous meetings with many people of the Church, both laity and clergy, thanks to which you formed your image of the Church in real contact with people, realising that it is rather different from the one you sometimes perceived in the media. What prevails in your memories is the goodness, the deep faith, the involvement of people at many levels of the Church, and the openness to the needs of those most in need, exemplified by the attitude of Poles towards Ukrainian refugees.


And at the same time, you had to face emergency situations. These included the time of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the protection of minors. You noticed that the process of clean-up and prevention was initiated in Poland many years ago and is still ongoing. While not everything has been resolved ideally, sensitivity in this regard is steadily increasing in the Church. Various support structures have been set up at the level of dioceses, religious orders and bishops’ conferences. In all institutions that deal with children, young people or the vulnerable, there are principles of good practice and clearly defined safety rules. And this is the main direction of the changes that are currently being implemented in the Church in our Homeland.


Finally, on behalf of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, I wish to thank you for your efforts and work, which have tested your patience. Therefore, the Catholic Church in Poland thanks you for your ministry in our homeland and wishes you wholeheartedly that your new mission as Rector of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome might bring a lot of spiritual good, this time not to a particular country, but to the entire Catholic Church. Lead the students of the Academy, as Pope Francis says, “To all the corners of the world. To Europe, which needs to wake up; to Africa, thirsty for reconciliation; to Latin America, hungry for food and spirituality; to North America, rediscovering the roots of identity, not marked by exclusion; to Asia and Oceania, where the challenge is the ability to be a leaven in the diaspora and to dialogue with multiple indigenous cultures” (25 June 2015). God Bless!

Translation: M. Turski / Office for Foreign Communication of the Polish Bishops’ Conference