The Vatican secretary of state praised the Polish Church’s traditional closeness to Rome as key to its survival under hostile regimes, in a speech marking the centenary of the nation’s conference of bishops and diplomatic ties with the Vatican.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin told the bishops: “Your indispensable task now is to uphold this heritage, preserving and strengthening it as a rich legacy, so Poland’s Christian identity will have not only a past and present, but also a future.”
In an address to the bishops’ plenary on 13th March, the cardinal noted the Polish bishops’ first 1919 assembly had been chaired by Mgr Achille Ratti, the future Pope Pius XI, who was Vatican representative at the time, and had heralded a Polish tradition of “communion with the Petrine see and faithfulness to the bishop of Rome,” which reflected the key Catholic principle of “unity in diversity.”
“Unity with the pope also guarantees freedom in the face of worldly powers and particular interest groups,” Cardinal Parolin told the plenary, which also celebrated the sixth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis.
“It assures openness to the universal Church, as well as full Catholicity, guarding against the danger of closing in on oneself or being exploited by some faction, whether political or nationalist.”
Picture: Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, speaks on 3rd December 2018 during the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland. (CNS photo/Kacper Pempel, Reuters).