Kirill I with President Komorowski: photo - PAP/Pawel Supernak
“The road to reconciliation is a dialogue that will appeal to fundamental values such as freedom and responsibility, charity and forgiveness,” President Bronislaw Komorowski said during a meeting with the Patriarch of Moscow at the Belweder Palace on Thursday evening.
This is Kirill I's first official trip to Poland, where 95 percent of the population identify themselves as Roman Catholic, where he will sign, with his Polish Roman Catholic counterpart, Archbishop Jozef Michalik, a document calling for “joint forgiveness” between the two nations.
President Komorowski laid on a special banquet for the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, which was attended by Poland's Senate Speaker Bogdan Borusewicz, Culture Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski and cardinals Kazimierz Nycz from Warsaw and Stanislaw Dziwisz from Krakow, among others.
Of the special “message” that the two religious leaders will sign, Friday, President Komorowski said: “We hope that this act will be an important step on the road to rapprochement and an intensive dialogue between Polish and Russian populations.
“This is the path to a dialogue based on truth, mutual trust, goodwill and mutual understanding,” Komorowski said.
In his speech, the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus stressed that it is the “Gospel of Christian morality which unites our two nations and churches”.
“Based on this common foundation, we hope to overcome human problems, arising from our past, which sometimes also affects the present,” Kirill said, referring to the often difficult relations between Poland and Russia.
“Today, we must combine our efforts to proclaim the truth of God and for this great task we have to forget the traumas of the past,” Kirill I, known as a close ally of President Putin, added.
As well as signing the special message between churches today, Kirill I will also meet with representatives of the Orthodox Church in Poland and visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Warsaw's Soviet Military Cemetery, where he lay flowers. (pg)