The pastoral challenges for the Church in Poland and the state of the document on priestly formation “Ratio institutionis sacerdotalis pro Poland” – these two key issues were discussed at the 403rd Plenary Assembly of the Polish Bishops’ Conference that took place in Lodz and Pabianice on 5 and 6 October. The prelates reiterated that concern for married couples and families is a pastoral priority and maintained that “marriage based on love and mutual support, sustained by grace, and open to life creates a natural environment for growth and is a gift for both the Church and society”. The Plenary took place in a new format – in five working groups – with participants addressing the following topics: strategies during and after the pandemic; the Church in Poland and cultural changes; the Church’s presence in the socio-political realm; the Church’s communication; and parish ministry in light of current changes.
The meeting, held in the run-up to
the celebrations for the centenary of the establishment of the Archdiocese of Łódź, was preceded by an introduction to Pope Francis’ third Encyclical Letter “Fratelli Tutti” (All Brothers) devoted to fraternity and social friendship. “Like the Holy Father, the Bishops called for concrete actions to build a world based on love, unity, and mutual responsibility for each human being”, the final statement of the Plenary reads.