The poor: Caritas is not enough

From the plenary to the episcopate a strong appeal to solidarity towards the indigent and towards families in need. A glance extended to the WYD 2016

“The Church that doesn’t react to suffering and poverty is a sick Church”; said the president of Polish bishops Msgr. Stanislaw Gadecki on the occasion of the 369th plenary meeting of the episcopate held June 9-10 in Warsaw. “The question of poverty doesn’t involve only material conditions but also moral and spiritual ones”, states the final declaration in which the prelates also speak of “poverty, often condemned and marginalized, at times leading to exclusion”. Correcting the economic model. The plenary of the Polish Bishops’ Conference was dedicated to the theme of poverty “in preparation of the Holy Year on Mercy” and in conformity with the recommendations of Pope Francis conveyed during the bishops’ Ad Limina apostolorum visit last year.. “During the March plenary we discussed the theme of the family and now that of poverty”, said mons. Gadecki, who recalled the recent statistics which show that 23% of the overall agricultural population and 11% of the urban population, as well as 40% of families with more than three children and 25% of single-parent families in Poland are at poverty-risk. This amounts “to high numbers of of poor people in Poland”, “despite the fact that political and economic transformations should represent a remorse for us all”, Gadecki said. Reflecting on the economic development model adopted after 1989 the prelate described it as “imperfect and requiring corrections”, since “the need to promote the free market places politicians and economic experts before the question of the high cost of such provisions”. A real human community. “Poverty hits children in particular along with their basic needs: nutrition, education and free time”, underlined the President of the Polish bishops. “Since the ideal state doesn’t exist, the Church must play a subsidiary role before the poor and the needy”; he remarked, underlining to this regard the role of Caritas, which however, “is not enough”. “The efforts aimed at overcoming the economic crisis and boosting the efficiency of the welfare system are not enough”, said Msgr. Gadecki, who pointed out that “the primary help to the forlorn and to overcome social differences should be to appreciate the human person in his condition and a gesture towards him so that society, in addition to ensuring greater social security may become a real human community”. WYD and anniversaries. The bishops discussed also issues related to the Pope Francis’ visit to Poland on the occasion of the WYD2016 in Krakow along with the 1050th anniversary of the Country’s Christianization. “These major events should reinforce faith and lead us towards the future with hope”; the prelates write in their statement, with the wish that “these moments of celebration may reap abundant fruits to the efforts of the new evangelization”. The final declaration of the plenary also recalls the fiftieth anniversary of the historic exchange of letters between the Polish and German episcopate, that paved the way to the reconciliation process between the two peoples put to dire test by the Second World War. The celebrations for the Fiftieth anniversary will begin next October in Rome and will be continued the following month, simultaneously in Berlin and in Wroclaw. The line of John Paul II. During the plenary the bishops also adopted the document on the family drawn up on the occasion of the next Synod. “The document fully corresponds to the line of John Paul II”, said Monsignor Jan Watroba, president of the Council for the Family of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, adding that the four pages of the text “are the fruit of a survey that shows the faithfulness of the Polish Church to the magisterium that preserves human values and the traditional ecclesial practice”. The prelate reiterated that “no environments of the Catholic Church in Poland expect changes in the doctrine and in the moral teaching regarding ‘same-sex marriage”, thereby underlining that “the position of the Church and the faithful is the same”.

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