The chairman of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki said that “it is important to protect borders, but also hearts open to other people and the principle of hospitality” are important. – Those who speak out sharply against accepting migrants must realize that they are at the antipodes of the Gospel, that they are completely removed from the Gospel – he added.
Archbishop Gądecki took part in the mass on the occasion of the 13th Day of Solidarity with the Persecuted Church. On November 14, the Church also celebrates the Day of the Poor.
Archbishop Gądecki recalled that this year’s celebration of the Day of Solidarity with the Persecuted Church was devoted to the situation in Lebanon, which is facing the economic and migration crisis. – Many people cannot afford food, treatment or education. 77 percent of Lebanese families have no money to feed, and 60 percent either borrow or buy on credit. The price of food increased by 400 percent – Archbishop Gądecki enumerated.
He pointed out that unemployment in Lebanon is over 50 percent, and the country is struggling with a chronic shortage of electricity, medicine and fuel. – It is the biggest economic crisis in 150 years in Lebanon – he stressed.
Archbishop Gądecki on migrants on the border
The metropolitan of Poznań added that about 1.5 million refugees from Syria appeared in the country with seven million inhabitants, in connection with the migration crisis that started in 2011. In this context, he referred to the situation of migrants on the Polish-Belarusian border.
– If we proportionally assume that a country with seven million inhabitants receives 1.5 million Syrians, Muslims who come because of the war, it is easy to calculate how many millions Poland could accept, also entering a difficult period, of those who they are moving from place to place, from migrants we do not really want to host – from what we can see, from the public reaction – said the archbishop.
He said that “border protection is important, but also hearts open to other people and the principle of hospitality” are important. – Those who speak out sharply against accepting migrants must be aware that they are atypods of the Gospel, that they are completely removed from the Gospel – he added.
Archbishop of Beirut: Despite the problems, many Christians in Lebanon still have deep faith
The Sunday mass at the Poznań cathedral was concelebrated by Archbishop Georges Bacouni, the Catholic Archbishop of the Greek-Melchice Church of Beirut and Byblos in Lebanon, who came to Poland at the invitation of the Polish section of the Association “Pomoc Kościołowi w Nrzebie”. In his homily, he stressed that Lebanon was struggling with the overlapping effects of the pandemic, the economic crisis and last year’s ammonium nitrate outbreak in the port of Beirut.
The hierarchy pointed out that the country is struggling with major economic problems, such as the depreciation of its native currency. – Two years ago, one US dollar cost 1.5 thousand Lebanese pounds. Today, this rate is 21,000 pounds. It affects all spheres of our life, because most of the things we need are imported, he said.
The clergyman pointed out that the Lebanese government is able to ensure electricity supplies of no more than four hours a day. He pointed out that the economic crisis has affected, among others, education, because most textbooks and teaching aids are also imported.
The Archbishop of Beirut pointed out that difficult living conditions make many Lebanese want to emigrate. – Despite these problems that affect our lives so much, many Christians in Lebanon still firmly believe and practice their faith. They deeply believe that God is with them and will not leave them, said Archbishop Bacouni.
Main photo source: TVN24