Over 100,000 pilgrims have participated in a large penitential prayer on Saturday, 15 October. The Day, organised at the Marian Shrine of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa by lay associations with the support of members of the clergy, featured an afternoon celebration presided over by Mgr. Stanislaw Gadecki, president of the Polish bishops. “For sins which are committed openly, public penance is required”, the prelate said, explaining in his homily the reasons for the rite of expiation, which was preceded by some witnesses. Mgr. Gadecki also noted that “the sum of individual sins committed by many people create perverse social structures”. However, he said, “social sin is something more relevant than a simple summation of individual sins since it almost creates a new counter-value”. At the end of the celebration, the faithful invoked divine mercy, specifically for the sin of abortion and for collaborationism with the Communist regime in the years 1945-1990, since authorities today highlight the need for a purification of memory, with the guilty acknowledging their mistakes. The introduction of an absolute ban on abortion, which is strongly opposed by many associations in civil society, is the subject of an intense public debate.