Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος κατά την επίσκεψή του στην Πολωνία συναντήθηκε σήμερα, Δευτέρα 28 Μαρτίου 2022, με τον Πρόεδρο της χώρας Andrzej Duda, ο οποίος και προσκάλεσε επισήμως τον Παναγιώτατο για να παραμυθήσει και να ευλογήσει τους Ουκρανούς πρόσφυγες.
Ο Πρόεδρος της Πολωνίας εξέφρασε την ευγνωμοσύνη του στον Πατριάρχη επειδή αποδέχθηκε την πρόσκλησή του και δήλωσε ενθουσιασμένος διότι “σήμερα ο Παναγιώτατος, ως ακούραστος προσκυνητής, έρχεται να ευλογήσει τους πρόσφυγες από την Ουκρανία”.
Ο Πρόεδρος εξέφρασε, επίσης, την ευγνωμοσύνη του στον Παναγιώτατο για την συνεπή στάση του σχετικά με το ποιος είναι το θύμα αυτού του τρομερού πολέμου.
MEDIA STATEMENT by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Beginning of the Meeting with the President and First Lady of Poland (Monday, March 28, 2022)
I am sincerely delighted to have the opportunity to meet You and the First Lady of Poland in person, almost a year after Your visit at the See of the Church of Constantinople in Phanar.
However, my visit here is neither any jubilant nor some festive occasion. My exclusive focus these days is to stand in solidarity and prayer with the millions of refugees who have been forcibly displaced by the ongoing unjustified and unjustifiable aggression as well as the horrendous and costly violence caused by Russia on their sovereign homeland of Ukraine.
I am here to meet with some of the many refugees and to encourage those who are demonstrating the ultimate Christian virtue of love for their neighbor and charity for every stranger, in whom we are called to witness and welcome Christ Himself.
What I would like to emphasize first of all, Mr. President, is my personal gratitude – but especially the appreciation of the Orthodox faithful, and indeed the admiration of every decent human being – for the generous and compassionate hospitality of your historical and magnificent nation to those who were forced to flee Ukraine. The people of Poland understand very well what it means to suffer from war. But above and beyond this, the citizens of Poland respect the gifts of freedom – freedom of speech, freedom of education, freedom of economy, freedom of worship, and freedom of living.
Let me assure You that the entire world has watched as Poland – and other surrounding nations within this blessed continent – has literally opened the borders of its land and the depths of its heart to receive and comfort women and children, elderly and unaccompanied minors, and even pets. You did not just consign your refugee neighbors to tents and camps; you embraced them in your places of residence and your living rooms.
All of them are distressed about the past and fearful about the future. All of them need our reassurance and assistance, our support and encouragement. All of them are vulnerable to hunger and homelessness but also to exploitation and trafficking. And in the middle of this unbelievable and unacceptable crisis, the state and people of Poland stand out as a model of decency, of philanthropy, and of hospitality.
May God bless all of you and your loved ones abundantly. May all humankind learn from and imitate your extraordinary example. Only such genuine love and unconditional solidarity can conquer any and all evil and darkness in our world.
Once again, thank You, Your Excellency and the First Lady, for your warm welcome!
TOAST by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew during the Luncheon at the Belweder Palace (Monday, March 28, 2022)
Your Excellency Andrzej Duda, President of Poland,
Madam Agata Kornhauser-Duda, First Lady of Poland,
Venerable and distinguished guests,
It is a special privilege to be invited by Your Excellency to visit your beautiful and historical nation in order to witness first-hand the impressive and inspiring process that you have generously initiated for the sake of receiving and consoling millions of refugees from Ukraine.
You have given faith and hope to numerous people that continue to flee the invasion of their sovereign land by a neighboring aggressor, who has mercilessly pitted brother against brother, Christian against Christian, and citizen against citizen.
We are grateful to you, Your Excellency, for the personal invitation to stand here with you in solidarity and support, along with all your people – starting from the First Lady and incorporating every civil and religious organization, as well as every volunteer individual and benevolent institution. You have – in an unprecedented and unbelievable convergence of charity and care – literally embraced all those who are today standing at your border and knocking on your door.
We have repeatedly stated that we are personally grateful and humbled – indeed, the entire world looks with admiration and appreciation – at the compassion and goodwill of your magnificent and magnanimous nation toward those who were forced to leave the comfort and safety of their homes in Ukraine.
Your Excellency, the people of Poland understand very well what it means to suffer from war. But above and beyond this, the citizens of Poland respect the God-given gift of freedom – freedom of speech, freedom of worship, and freedom of life.
For this reason, without any conditions and without any questions, your nation has opened its borders and its heart to extend patronage to women and children, as well as to the elderly people and to the unaccompanied minors. In so doing – in the middle of this unimaginable and unjustifiable crisis – Poland stands out as a model of decency and philanthropy.
For all these benefits – both known and unknown, both seen and unseen, both solicited and spontaneous – we express our wholehearted gratitude and congratulations.
And we pray – in fact, we would dare to add that we assure you – that God will never turn His face from His children in this land because “you have welcomed the stranger” (as we read in the Letter to the Romans) and “you have loved your neighbor as yourselves” (as we are reminded by Christ Himself in the Gospels).
Your Excellency, we are convinced that the warmth and hospitality that you have bestowed on us today certainly gives us a glimpse into what you have – selflessly and sacrificially – provided to countless people from Ukraine.
And for that we will always be indebted to you and your people.
Thank you and God bless you.