Catholic News Agency/Rome

Migration, conflicts in Ukraine and in the world, family, erosion of Christian values in the countries in the West – according to Janusz Kotański, a Polish ambassador for the Holy See and from the point of view of Poland– are the most important threads of a pronouncement given by pope Francis during the traditional New Year’s meeting in Vatican with diplomatic corpus.

In the opinion of ambassador Kotański, from the Polish point of view, the issue of migrants was important. – The pope devoted a large part of his pronouncement to migration. He emphasized that migrants must accept and respect laws, traditions and values of countries which let them in. He also emphasized the need of respecting a free will of countries which let migrants arrive - this is a sovereign decision of a particular country dependent on its possibilities. What is essential, the Holy Father noted that most people leaving their countries, do not want to leave them. He pointed to the significance of help given on the spot in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. What is important, in all these countries Poland is present with its help. As the Polish diplomat admitted, another important aspect of Pope’s pronouncement was a clear emphasis that in Ukraine there is a brutal conflict during which people are still being killed. ‘It shows that the Holy See sees what Russia is doing in Eastern Ukraine, although it was not said directly. It was clearly expressed that it is the only military conflict which takes place in Europe – said Kotański.

According to the ambassador, an essential thing was Pope’s pointing to the significance of a dialogue in solving all kinds of conflicts – what – as he emphasized – we, Poles, having experienced wars and communism, understand very well. – Moreover, Poland, as an inconstant member of the United Nations Security Council can sign under all other postulates of Francis concerning the issues of peace, especially on the Korean Peninsula. Pope also mentioned other places in the world where there are ethnical and religious conflicts and wars, especially on African continent. He noted that in order to solve them, the Holy See is always ready to come with help – said the Polish ambassador. According to Kotański, in the European context it was important to emphasize the significance and value of family. – Pope emphasized that family is very endangered in the countries of Western Europe. The value of family and all these values creating Christian civilization are being questioned, mainly the value of human life from conception to natural death. The Holy Father emphasized that one cannot kill innocent babies in a woman’s womb, only because they are unwanted, ill or deformed, or because of adults’ egoism. One cannot reject the elderly people either, especially when they are ill, a burden as they have a full right to live. For us, Poles, these are obvious things but in the countries of the West there are cases of a complete erosion of Christian roots – said ambassador Kotański.

Saying wishes to pope Francis, the ambassador said that this year is very important for Poland on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of regaining independence and asked him for a prayer for our Homeland. – The Holy Father assured that he would pray – said Kotański. He also noted that among diplomats present at the general audience there was archbishop Jan Romeo Pawłowski - a chief of the Diplomatic Staff Section in the State Secretariat whose task is supervising the diplomatic corpus of the Holy See working all over the world. – We have the Pole among the closest cooperators of the Holy Father – said the Polish ambassador for the Holy See.

Translation: Aneta Amrozik

Niedziela 3/2018 (21 I 2018)

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