Polish faithful abroad called to integrate with local Church

Polish faithful abroad called to integrate with local Church

Poland’s bishops said they no longer have enough clergy to minister to Polish people living abroad and urged emigrant Catholics to integrate more with the Church in other countries.

“Even with a very large group of Polish priests, it isn’t possible to reach in a timely way every place where Poles are found,” said the Warsaw-based bishops’ conference. “Your witness of Faith will positively influence believers from other national groups, especially those belonging to local Church communities. Bishops in other countries count on such help from Polish Catholics.”

In a pastoral letter read at Polish Masses abroad last Sunday, the bishops thanked the 2,000 Polish priests and nuns currently ministering to Poles worldwide, and the laypeople assisting with liturgical, educational, cultural and charitable work.

They thanked local bishops who had shown “openness and understanding” by making places of worship available and ensuring conditions for Polish-language pastoral work. However, they said Poles should now also attend Mass in the language of their country of residence.

“A mature patriotism has nothing to do with nationalism or closing off from other cultures and traditions – nor with today’s increasingly fashionable internationalism, blurring the difference between particular nations,” said the letter, marking the centenary of Poland’s 1918 independence.