The topic of the crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border appeared on Thursday in the sermons of many hierarchs during the services on the occasion of Independence Day. Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz said that “counting on the help of other nations and institutions does not have to be a limitation of sovereignty.” Archbishop Tadeusz Wojda judged that the problem should be “solved with the help of the European Union and all other international institutions”, and he called the migrants “hostages of unfair games”. Archbishop Grzegorz Ryś decided that “any political solution will not resolve this conflict”. “There is still a need for this reconciliation that must take place in us,” he added. Archbishop Andrzej Dzięga spoke about the idea of the openness of the “Polish home”. Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski said that “we must continue to struggle for the freedom of our homeland in the face of so many external and internal threats”.
During Thursday masses on the 103rd anniversary of Poland regaining independence, some hierarchs referred, inter alia, to the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border and the migration crisis observed there.
The Metropolitan of Warsaw, Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, who presided over the mass for the homeland at the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw, said that “the Church does not want and should not enter the areas of responsibility of politicians or people appointed to solve such swollen problems.”
– However, the Church would like to say and do what she should say in the name of the Gospel and the Church’s social doctrine – he reserved. – We look with satisfaction and gratitude at the work of the Border Guard officers, who with great dedication carry out the inalienable task of defending the borders of Poland and Europe. There can be no doubts about it – emphasized Cardinal Nycz.
Cardinal Nycz: let’s do everything so that there is no contradiction between defending the borders and human help
He also indicated that “counting on the help of other nations and institutions does not have to be a limitation of sovereignty in today’s globalized world”. – This should become a sign of solidarity and shared responsibility for the common good of Poland, Europe and the world – assessed the hierarch.
The metropolitan of Warsaw thanked organizations helping migrants, especially Caritas Polska and parishes of the Archdiocese of Białystok. – In this context, when looking at today, the Church looks to the future. Seeing and appreciating the obligations of the state, he firmly asks for the possibility of humanitarian and charitable aid provided by its institutions, led by Caritas. But also through numerous organizations and volunteers ready to help selflessly people in need, the sick or even at risk of losing their lives, which was also the case in recent weeks – he continued.
– Let us do everything so that there is no contradiction between the defense of borders, the needs of which are not questioned by anyone, and human, humanitarian and Christian help – appealed the hierarch.
Cardinal Nycz recalled that the Church in Poland, mainly through Caritas, from the very beginning helps migrants and refugees “and wants to help even more”. – As we know, another fundraiser for this purpose has been announced. However, what will be collected and transformed into concrete help must be delivered to a place where it will serve the people in need of that help. And there are also some problems with this matter – he said.
The liturgy in the Warsaw temple was attended, among others, by President Andrzej Duda with his wife, representatives of state authorities and uniformed services.
Archbishop Wojda on the crisis on the border: it must be solved with respect for the noble tradition of Polish openness and tolerance
Archbishop of Gdańsk, Archbishop Tadeusz Wojda, during a mass in St. Mary’s Basilica in Gdańsk, said that “today’s Gospel reminds us of an important issue, namely that in this homeland everyone has the right to be treated with respect and dignity”. – It is not enough to create social systems, to improve power and administration. We must consider every person, especially the one who is in need, who is hungry and thirsty, who is stranger and naked, who is sick and in prison, he pointed out.
He emphasized that there are many such people in Poland. – But we also have them at our borders, especially in the east, where more and more refugees are gathering – pointed out the hierarch.
– The latter have become hostages of unfair games. It’s sad to say: a commodity in the hands of cynical traders. This is a problem that affects not only Poland, but our entire European Union. Therefore, it must be solved with the help of the European Union and all other international institutions, but also with respect for the noble tradition of Polish openness and tolerance, he argued. According to him, “one must look for appropriate solutions to this growing humanitarian crisis.”
Archbishop Ryś: any political solution will not resolve the conflict
In his sermon, the Archbishop of Łódź, Grzegorz Ryś, referred to the thoughts of Pope Francis. As he said, in recent days we are observing what is happening on the Polish borders and “we are looking at the eastern border”. – Where’s the conflict? How to solve it? The Pope says, maybe look at yourself first, he said.
He pointed out that “it seems to us that the conflict will be resolved by the politicians.” – Whatever political solution will not resolve this conflict, there is still a need for this reconciliation, which must take place in us. Perhaps we are fragmented inside and we cannot, for example, integrate some (…) symphony in harmony. How to reconcile love, concern for the homeland and its borders, and at the same time what Jesus says to accept the one who comes? How is it to merge: both love and the other, not to oppose them to each other? Perhaps we have a problem within ourselves – said the priest.
– How do I integrate this choice of the common good with faithfulness to the environment from which I come out, to the people to whom my views are closest? We are fragmented, we cannot combine it – he continued. The Hierarchy added that “the pope says you will not build the common good with cheese that is broken into a thousand pieces.”
Archbishop Dziega: representatives of the Polish house are standing at the border crossing points to talk
Archbishop Andrzej Dzięga, the metropolitan of Szczecin and Kamień, also referred to the difficult situation in the border area in his sermon.
– When I look at the reports from today’s eastern border, when I see uniformed services, and the Border Guard, and the police and Polish soldiers, stand on guard there, I thank them and pray for them – that they may persevere in the sense of rightness and in accordance with the Gospel not hurting anyone, and protecting the Polish home – I also think about their families then. Because it’s not just their service. It is also the service of their spouse, the service of their children, the service of their parents – he assessed.
According to him, “it is really a service to the common good, service to the nation, homeland and the Polish home.” As the hierarch said, “Polish home has always been evangelically open”. – In each generation, people of different languages, cultures and traditions came to the Polish home. And if they respected this house as a common house, they always had a roof over their heads, they had bread, the possibility of development and safe life. And nothing has changed in Polish thought and culture until today. It is the same until today, continued Archbishop Dziega.
– Representatives of the Polish home are standing at the border crossing points to talk openly and boldly with those who want to enter the Polish home. But how to treat a situation when the host stands in the guest house’s open door and, seeing the newcomers, says: I invite you this way, here is the door, we wait. A passer-by passes by, comes from behind and wants to punch a hole in the wall of the house. And through this hole to burst into the house, to take it, I don’t know, to arrange it in your own way – he said. The priest argued that “a Polish home is an orderly, open, welcoming, full of bread”. – It is enough for everyone, you just have to respect that this is our Polish home – added Archbishop Dziega.
Archbishop Jędraszewski: we must continue to struggle for the freedom of our homeland in the face of so many external and internal threats
In the homily delivered on Thursday, on Independence Day at the Wawel Cathedral, Archbishop of Krakow, Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski recalled the most important dates in the history of Poland and its path to independence, figures of national heroes. He recalled the memories of Poles returning to free Poland – St. Urszula Julia Ledóchowska, Stanisława née Kossecka Andrzejowa Deskur, mother of Card. Andrzej Maria Deskur.
Speaking about the independence regained in 1918, he emphasized that although the country’s exact borders and the future were not known yet, all his countrymen were lucky.
– We thank God for those events of the truly miraculous resurrection of our homeland 103 years ago, and at the same time we are aware that we still have to struggle for the freedom of our homeland in the face of so many external and internal threats. This freedom must be prayed for, this freedom must be forged by fidelity to everyday life, fidelity to the most holy values for which those people suffered, prayed and gave their lives; the values that they passed on to us, which we must multiply in order to pass them on to those who will come for us – said Archbishop Jędraszewski.
In his opinion, our task is to “lose none of that happiness of people who have felt the taste of freedom; not to lose any of that taste of freedom in order to pass it on to future generations.” According to the metropolitan, it is a great happiness to be able to say: “I am a Pole in my homeland and I consider it my happiness”.
Archbishop Jędraszewski assessed that Polishness was a spiritual value, shaped especially during the partitions. – This Polishness did not come noticeably, it could not be defined with the spatial notions of “here”, “there”. It had a spiritual character, it connected Poles with each other – said the metropolitan.
According to the hierarch, “Polishness makes us internally free people” and “for this Polishness in the spiritual dimension, many Poles, ancestors, suffered, prayed and gave their lives – for her and for her.”
Jędraszewski also recalled the words of John Paul II, uttered on June 2, 1980 at the UNESCO headquarters: “I am the son of a nation that survived the most terrible experiences of history, was sentenced to death many times by its neighbors – and he remained alive and remained himself. He retained his own identity. and retained its sovereignty as a nation in the midst of the partitions and occupation – not on the basis of any other means of physical power, but only on the basis of its own culture, which in this case turned out to be a power greater than those powers. “
The Pope then also added: “And therefore what I am saying here about the rights of the people at the foundation of culture and its future is not an echo of any” nationalism “but remains a permanent element of human experience and humanist perspectives of man. There is a fundamental sovereignty of society which it expresses itself in the culture of the nation “.
Main photo source: Łukasz Gągulski / PAP