"We call on everyone to engage in substantive social dialogue, to express views without the use of violence and to respect the dignity of every human being," Polish bishops wrote on Wednesday in the appeal of the Permanent Council of the Polish Bishops' Conference (KEP), which was held on October 28.
At the same time, they emphasized that "the Church will always stand for life and support initiatives that protect it."
The KEP expressed its concern about the escalation of social tension and aggression, the destruction of social property, the cases of devastation of churches, profanation of holy places, or the impossibility of holding the liturgy in them.
"We call on everyone to engage in meaningful social dialogue, to express views without the use of force and to respect the dignity of every human being," bishops wrote in a special appeal.
They also pointed out that "the commandment of love imposes on us an important duty to care, help and protect those mothers and families raising sick children."
Thanking all the communities and institutions that have been caring for human life from conception to natural death for years, they appealed to parishes, Catholic movements and other church organisations to "take specific initiatives to meet those who need and will need such help."
They also thanked the law enforcement services, pastors and all laypeople who "stand up courageously in defence of their churches." "No one can defend the Church and sacred objects better than the community of believers," bishops wrote.
They stressed that "the Church wants to remain open to all people, regardless of their social and political affiliation."
In the "name of concern for safety and health", bishops also called for solidarity and compliance with the rules of sanitary safety. "We express our gratitude to all medical services for their work and heroic sacrifice," they wrote.
The Primate of Poland calls for a de-escalation of the conflict
"The moral duty of a Christian is to de-escalate the conflict, not to increase it," wrote Polish Primate Archbishop Wojciech Polak in a letter to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Gniezno. Referring to the ongoing social protests, he also appealed for respect for churches.
As he pointed out, “believers cannot be expected to deny one of the foundations of their faith, which is respect for all life from conception to natural death. However, we must not forget the commandment to love our neighbour. The moral duty of a Christian is to de-escalate the conflict, not to increase it. So please, as Christ did, reject any kind of violence. The response of Jesus' disciples is forgiveness, prayer, and fasting”.
The Primate noted, however, that "the actions of the protesters who destroy monuments, church facades, and interrupt the Masses celebrated there are extremely painful and condemned."
“It is a profanation of the most holy things that cannot be accepted. However, we must not answer the same. We must still remember the words of St. Paul: "do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good!", emphasized the primate.