Meetings of the CCEE Council is constituted by the chairmen of episcopates and hierarchs being the only ordinaries in their countries, are held every year. Now a meeting was held on 13-16 September 2018 in Poznań, and debates were concentrated on volunteering and solidarity, as well as religions, which the Church in Europe is facing up now. Volunteering, inter-human solidarity – today universal, alive and moving millions of the Christians – are worth strengthening and developing, especially that the problems which Europe and today’s world are struggling with, are more and more serious.

If Europe lost the sense of solidarity with particular people, nations and countries, it would give away its Christian message, and it would mean impoverishment and regression of European civilization – cardinal Angelo Bagnasco emphasized in his pronouncement.

Proper ways

Bishops noted a new kind of poverty which is connected with a lack of respect for life, family divorce, imposing the gender ideology, restricting freedom, also the religious one and the issues concerning migrants. They also emphasized the necessity of an ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue and a civic dialogue during growing tensions on our continent. ‘Also on this front the Christians engaged in volunteering can nourish essential common actions within a renewed solidarity for the sake of justice, peace and a principle of subsidiarity’ – bishops pointed in their message. The discussion on migration was also reflected in the message. ‘(…) We say after the Holy Father Francis, that solidarity is a suitable and an inalienable way to face up national, international and world problems. It is constituted of acceptance, integration and every possible form’ – bishops wrote.

As archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, the vice-chairperson of CCEE explained, an occasion for the meeting in Poznań was the 1050th anniversary of Poznań bishopric ministry and the 100th anniversary of Poland independence, to which the Church contributed a lot. In the Church there was Polish culture, educational, social and charity works. Persecutions of the Church by invaders – said archbishop Gądecki – were not able to destroy it, but even strengthened its authority.

Polish brand name

The guests of the meeting were the chief of the government and president of Poland. The prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki – in his pronouncement referring to the main topic of the meeting – emphasized that Poland and Europe are connected with solidarity which is the Church’s child. Solidarity is the Polish brand name, and also the ‘crown of a tree growing out of the Christian roots and our most valuable contribution in the presence and future of Europe’. Solidarity and freedom built by Poland are anchored in the teaching of the Church, in tradition of Christianity and tradition of Europe which has raised the human dignity so high and also reminded about duties towards the community and our relatives.

President of Poland Andrzej Duda referred to the 100th anniversary of independence gained by Poland. – In the history of the nation the Church has always played the exceptional role, and its mission was becoming significant at the times of captivity – he emphasized. The country and the tradition of the nation were living during those difficult years – as he emphasized – in chapels, church porches and in liturgy. Polish fighters of the national matter found a refuge from the invaders in churches, monasteries and presbyteries, whereas priests actively joined conspiracy and insurgent actions, doing their priestly ministry to strengthen faith and morals of soldiers, insurgents – said the president.

Translated by Aneta Amrozik

Niedziela 38/2018 (23 IX 2018)

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: