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European elections: Polish bishops encourage voter participation. “Think of future generations”

The Polish bishops encourage voter participation in the European elections on 26 May, recalling “the personal commitment of John Paul II” in a message. For the Polish Pope, they wrote, “Poland’s accession to the EU was not only an opportunity for the material and cultural development of the country, but also a chance for the Union itself to draw on the rich spiritual heritage of the Polish people”. In other words, the Pope saw accession as “a chance for Europe to breathe with both lungs, whilst remaining firmly tied to its Christian roots”. The message also cites what John Paul II said in Gniezno in 1997, namely that “without Jesus, it would be impossible to build lasting unity”, since it would be impossible to do so by “breaking away from the roots that enabled the growth of European peoples and cultures”. In their latest plenary assembly (March 2019), the Polish bishops, in view of the European elections, approved the pastoral letter “The social order for the common good” in which they stress that the current situation in Poland is “a challenge for the Church” since “political rivalry has long since exceeded the limits of a democratic debate between different parties”. Recalling that the political debate should be “for something” and not “against others”, the bishops hope for a return “of dialogue and solidarity in truth, and in mutual respect, with a thought for future generations”.

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