All pastoral letters and all the reports drawn up at the end of the Plenary Assemblies of the Polish Episcopal Conference in 2015 and 2016 refer to Pope Francis. This is the sign of a personal bond with the Successor of Peter who will soon arrive in person in Poland.
On the occasion of the “Ad limina Apostolorum” visit in February of 2014, Pope Francis received the Polish bishops as brothers, reinforcing the reciprocal relationship with his cordiality. It can be said that the Polish are one of the peoples that the Pontiff addresses more frequently. His visit on the occasion of the GMG will be a particular gift for the entire nation. Poland will be the first country in Europe, outside of Italy, where Pope Francis will spend a few days.
The Polish bishops very often make recourse to the magisterium of Pope Francis. In the Acts of the Polish Episcopal Conference of 2015 which collect the documents of the Episcopate, the Pontiff was recalled over 70 times. In the last couple of years the bishops have cited his words in all of the pastoral Letters (11 since the beginning of 2015). Moreover, he was recalled in all of the reports at the end of the Plenary Assemblies of the Polish Episcopal Conference in the years 2015-2016. The President of the Polish bishops, Msgr. Stanislaw Gadecki, as well as the Primate of Poland Msgr. Wojciech Polak, frequently recall the magisterium of the current Pontiff who is also invoked in the documents of various Commissions, Counsels, and Groups of the work of the Episcopate with regard to both moral and social questions.
The general secretary of the episcopate, Msgr. Artur Mizinski, summarizing the year 2015 in the Polish church, has emphasized that the episcopal Conference following the spirit of the magisterium of Pope Francis had been employed with sustaining and defending matrimony and the family both for the defense of values and the dignity of man.
The visit of Pope Francis in Poland constitutes a further occasion for receiving his magisterium and translating it in daily life. The words of the Pope that we shall hear in July will be particularly important for all Polish people because they will be pronounced in Poland in the Year of Mercy.
Father Pawel Rytel-Andrianik