Meeting with the President

The Polish Orthodox Church

Maria Nalewajko

On 11th January Polish President Bronisław Komorowski has met with representatives of Polish Orthodox Church.

Metropolitan Sawa was the head of the delegation. There were also bishops: Jeremiasz, Abel, Jakub, Jerzy and Paisjusz and some of the clergy. Among other members were representatives of fellowships, Orthodox associations, charities and media, but also representatives of uniformed services.

President said that diversity is enriching us. He has also stressed that huge, splendid historical heritage, within which history of Polish Orthodoxy can be included, is extremely important from the point of view of what is going on today in Poland as well as in Europe.

According to President Komorowski variety of religions, mutliligualism and multiculturality are common heritage from multiethnical republic, but also a shared contribution which we are bringing into integration processes of Europe and the whole world. In Bronisław Komorowski’s opinion mutual interests, mutual friendliness and mutual respect must be placed within this integration.

While turning to Orthodox representatives, president said that he is aware that he is meeting with Polish citizens who are serving the country well and faithfully. He added that it is the first meeting as such, that he is hoping for next ones, not only in the Presidential Palace, but also on Grabarka or other places important for Polish Orthodoxy.
President wished Orthodox people many satisfaction from constantly changing homeland, as well as to feel that as a whole we are members of somthing very big, something fine, which is big and small homeland that has not yet perished.

Metropolitan Sawa thanked President Komorowski for the invitation. The has stressed that Orthodox community has treated it as a historical event. It gives rise and confirms the trust to the state and its authorities.

The head of Polish Orthodox Church presented a short history of Orthodoxy in Poland, emphasizing that Polish Orthodox Church was tolerant towards other religions and respectful towards national heritage of the citizens. Metropolitan Sawa has stressed that voice of the Polish Orthodox Church is very important not only among Orthodox Churches in the world but other religions.

He underlined that the cooperation between Orthodox Church and state authorities is very good. The act on the relation between the state and the church is the first one in the history of the Republic of Poland. It is the basis to the regulation of various actvities of the church and it improves the cooperation with the state authorities.
The head of Polish Orthodox Church has said that he hopes that the problem with the location and construction of a new church in Ursynów will soon be resolved.

Metropolitan gave best wishes to the President and his wife. He expressed his hope that this meeting will be an impulse to improve mutual relations and mutual trust. Mr President has received a copy of verion Mother of God icon.
The participants of the meeting have sung “Lots of Years” to the President, as well as some of the Orthodox Christmas carols and Polish carol “Wśród nocnej ciszy”.