Common Russian - Polish proclamation to be signed in August

During a visit of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and whole Russia in August a Common Proclamation to the Nations of Russia and Poland about the reconciliation between our nations will be signed – informed the KAI (Catholic Informative Agency) Archbishop Stanislaw Budzik.

“It has a historical importance, as in the history of both churches any address has never been given”, the Roman Catholic metropolitan of Lublin said.

On March 15th in the head office of The Polish Episcopate Council (PEC) another meeting of the representatives from PEC and Russian Orthodox Church took place. The heads of the meeting were Archbishop Stanislaw Budzik and Fr. Igumen Filaret from The Department of External Church Relations (DECR) of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The mutual document will be signed by Patriarch Kirill and the head of PEC Archbishop Jozef Michalik. “There is a large determination from our episcopate to sign the document. It will take place during Patriarch’s visit in Poland and probably in the head office of PEC in Warsaw. We hope that this document will open a new era in our relations” said Archbishop Budzik.

The final editing ended on 15th March. Work on the proclamation has lasted almost two years. There will be a conference held on the document with the participation of the Patriarch, Polish Episcopate and representatives of the churches: Orthodox in Poland and Catholic in Russia.

Archbishop Budzik observed that the document consists of three parts. The first part is an appeal to dialogue and reconciliation. The second one is a view on history but in a future perspective. The final one is a description of mutual tasks in the field of Christian testimony. “There is a compromise over the second part, which aroused huge controversy. We considered historical part in a way to avoid details, which were not defined by the historians” said the hierarch and pointed out that the document does not close the dialogue between our churches and nations, it is its beginning.

The proclamation contains an appeal to God for forgiveness and help in searching ways to reconciliation. “There are no any mutual faults listed, but there is an encouragement to forgive them. Of course we have to consider our past critically. We were both victims of Second World War and godless communism. The Russian Orthodox Church fell a huge victim, probably even larger than Catholic church during the rule of the communist regime” the Archbishop emphasized. He added that Patriarch Kirill himself is largely interested in the fate of the document.

Apart from Archbishop Budzik and Igumen Filaret, Bishop Tadeusz Pikus and Rev. PhD Jaroslaw Mrówczyński (the deputy of executive secretary of PEC) also took part in the meeting.

Maria Nalewajko

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