Archbishop Gądecki celebrates the Pope of migrants and the poor
By Fr. Pawel Rytel-Andrianik
The President of the Polish Bishops' Conference admitted: “I am very grateful to the Holy Father who, at the beginning of his pontificate, said clearly and firmly that 'migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more' [Message for World Migrant and Refugee Day, 2014]. These words show his attitude during the ten years of his pontificate,” he told Vatican Radio.
The Pope's support for Poland
In the context of the millions of migrants who fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion of the country in February 2022, Archbishop Gądecki said: “We feel the support of Pope Francis, who publicly thanks Poles for helping migrants and refugees from Ukraine. These words strengthen all of us greatly to continue helping.”
Many Poles welcome refugees into their homes. Refugees are staying in many Church buildings. More than 1,000 houses of religious sisters are involved in helping people from Ukraine, primarily mothers with children. On behalf of the Polish Bishops' Conference, Caritas is helping more than two million Ukrainians. It is an example of Christian mercy.
Meeting with Pope Francis
Archbishop Gądecki talked about his meeting with Pope Francis in March 2022 which lasted more than 45 minutes. "The Pope was very interested in the fate of migrants. We talked about whether Poles will further persevere in this aid to Ukrainians. Our support for the Greek Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church was also a topic of the conversation.”
Greatest migration movement in Europe, one of the largest in the world
An estimated 10.3 million people from Ukraine have crossed the border into Poland since the start of the war in Ukraine, according to data published by the Border Guard in Poland this week. At the same time, more than 8.4 million have crossed the border from Poland into Ukraine. More than a million refugees from Ukraine remained in Poland. 95 percent of them are mothers with children.
Last year movement of migrants and refugees was the greatest in Europe since World War II and one of the world's largest in recent decades.
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