On these days I am making a pilgrimage to ‘apostolic tombs’, but for me the return to Vatican is somehow a return to the old home. Here in the years 1996 – 2005 I served to John Paul II, and then, till the year 2007 – to Benedict XVI. At this home I had friends and felt peace resulting from the presence of Popes.

Being already a bishop, I experienced the first ‘ad limina’ visit in September 2007 – at that time Benedict XVI was hosting us. Now I met with pope Francis as the metropolitan of Lvov and the chairperson of the Ukrainian Episcopal Conference. An official meeting was held on 20 February 2015 in the Apostolic Palace. When I was going through rooms of the palace, I recalled two moments spent just there – first with St. John Paul II and then with Benedict XVI…

All bishops are pleased with the meeting with Francis who devoted us a lot of time. He was particularly interested in the current situation of the country and asked us many questions, in order to understand what is happening in Ukraine, how we are coping with the situation and how our believers live. He asked us about our concerns and joys. He thanked us for our loyal attitude and that we are close to people, in particular those who are in need. He was wondering how the Holy See could help us. He assured us about his prayer and gave us and the whole Church in Ukraine apostolic blessing.

We told pope Francis that we felt great solidarity and care of the Universal Church, which is seen in particular help, especially from the Church in Poland and other countries of Europe.

In particular dicasteries of the Roman Curia we met with prefects of the congregation and council chairmen and their cooperators. We could present current issues of our Church, ask for advice and help. Everyone was interested in the situation in Ukraine, expressed their sorry and assured about solidarity. These meeting will surely contribute to a better pastoral ministry in our dioceses.

An interview with archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki conducted by Włodzimierz Rędzioch


„Niedziela” 9/2015

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