The whole life of St. John Paul II – from his vicar work with young people to such a global event as World Youth Day – is an example of how to raise the youngest and care for their good. His attitude in moral issues was always uncompromising, and it is also a model for us today – emphasizes Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.
Archbishop Gądecki referred to the interview published on Tuesday, May 28, by Pope Francis. “The Holy Father unequivocally said that no one can doubt the sanctity and good will of John Paul II. These are very important words of Pope Francis, which cut off all attempts to defame the Polish Pope” – stressed the Metropolitan of Poznań.
The President of the Polish Episcopate pointed out that St. John Paul II from the beginning saw in the youth and children the hope of the Church and took care of their formation. Already on November 9, 1978, or three weeks after the election, the Pope spoke to the American bishops who visited the Holy See with Ad limina Apostolorum visit, about the need to maintain a strong moral discipline in priestly work.
In moral matters, St. John Paul II was uncompromising and expressed it in a very unambiguous way. For example, during the World Youth Days in Denver in the USA – August 14, 1993 – he spoke clearly about the “scandal caused by the sins of some of the ministers of the altar”.
Archbishop Gądecki pointed out that John Paul II was declared the “Man of the Year 1994” by the American weekly “Time”. The explanation states: “In a year in which so many people regretted the fall of moral values or tried to justify wrongdoing, Pope John Paul II with power proclaimed his vision of righteous life and called the world to accept it. For this steadfastness – or severity, as his critics would say – he was declared the Man of the Year. Such justification gives us a lot to think about in the current discussion” – emphasized the President of the Polish Episcopate.
Metropolitan of Poznań pointed to the document of St. Pope John Paul II of April 30, 2001, in which the Pope confirmed that the sexual abuse of minors is one of the most serious crimes dealt with exclusively by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. “St. Pope John Paul II urged the bishops to provide the Vatican with all information on the clerical abuse of children and young people. Bishops’ Conferences – on Pope’s order – prepared special guidelines for the proceedings”.
The President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference also recalled the words of Poland’s former ambassador to the Holy See, Hanna Suchocka, who was appointed by Pope Francis as a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Children and Youth. “The ambassador mentioned that the Pope’s actions were intensifying with the expanding range of knowledge about the scale of sexual abuse in the Church. He was never indifferent, he reacted strongly, which makes us take the same attitude today”.
Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference