Your Excellency Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, President of the Polish Episcopal Conference,
Venerable hierarchs and distinguished friends,
Allow us first of all to express our sincerest gratitude for this gracious invitation – alongside that of His Excellency President Duda – to visit your beautiful and historical nation, which prides itself for its love of God and people, as well as for its respect for law and liberty.
We feel at home here among you. As a fellowship of Christian leaders – brother bishops and faithful clergy, representatives of many parishes and communities – all of us have a unique understanding of our accountability before God and our responsibility before our neighbor. This is why – at this sacred moment – we can honestly repeat the opening words of Psalm 133: “How wonderful and pleasant it is for brothers [and sisters] to be together in harmony.”
We know very well that the burden and commitment to fulfil the commandments of God and exemplify the spirit of charity lies with us as ordained disciples of the Lord. This is why you can all be assured that Christ supports and sustains the response to your blessed vocation at this critical hour of terrible war and unspeakable suffering.
Dear brothers, we would encourage you to remember:
- That Christ Himself walks among you, when you comfort and cherish all those placed in your trust and protection.
- That Christ Himself stands beside you, when you sit beside the physically wounded and the broken-hearted.
- That Christ Himself shines within you, when you serve those who look to you for a word of hope, healing and life.
- Thank you for reminding the millions of refugees fleeing the invasion of their sovereign land:
- That God is alive – especially in the middle of death and destruction.
- That the light of Christ shines everywhere – especially in places of darkness and desperation.
- That God is indeed Emmanuel; God is with us.
Beloved friends, may God bless you and abundantly reward you.