To mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Saint John Paul II, Poland's prime minister wrote an article, entitled "Christianity is the heart of Europe", to recall the teachings of the late pontiff. Speaking on the occasion, President Andrzej Duda underlined that patriotism is a central theme of Pope John Paul II's heritage.
In his article to the French Le Figaro newspaper titled "Christianity is the heart of Europe", Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki recalls the teachings of Pope John Paul II. Morawiecki claims that Karol Wojtyla's story is among the most peculiar ones in the 20th century, revolving arond a poor boy from Wodowice who became pontiff and helped defeat the Evil Empire.
The prime minister stressed that it was our duty to return to the pope's thoughts, especially to those regarding solidarity, during the current health crisis. "If we allow our memories to fade, we'll lose ourselves and our place in the world", he wrote. "Pope John Paul II shared with the world a message of faith and wise hope. Today, when the pandemic is turning into the greatest economic crisis of the last 100 years, we need this hope more than ever," PM Morawieczki added.
The Polish first couple - President Andrzej Duda and his wife, Agata Duda - read a passage form Karol Wojtyla's book called Memory and Identity, sharing the late pope's reflections on patriotism in a video. "The homeland is the embodiment of the common good, therefore every citizen bears immense responsibility," the presidential couple said, quoting some lines reflecting on Poland's turbulent history to reach their final conclusion: "Homeland is true reality."
„Pamięć, która nie przemija”. Akcja, w ramach której czytane są teksty św. Jana Pawła II, odbywa się pod prezydenckim patronatem honorowym. @idmjp2 @ArchKrakowska #DziękujemyJaniePawle2https://t.co/WMJDr7BXf6 pic.twitter.com/cY5Iz868Xx— Kancelaria Prezydenta (@prezydentpl) May 16, 2020
The presidential couple recited the excerpt as part of an initiative to commemorate the late pope and encourage every Pole to read aloud their favourite passage.
Poland's Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich also spoke highly of Saint John Paul II's work, emphasizing that: "No other pope has done more to heal the painful wounds and did more than anyone else in history to effectively erase the scourge of antisemitism." […] "In the centennial year of his birth, we take a moment to recognise the profound impact he had on the world as a whole and for us particularly on Jewish-Christian reconciliation and dialogue," the rabbi said.