The Catholic Church in Poland has recently issued a Polish translation of “The Bishop and Christian Unity: An Ecumenical Vademecum” published by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity (PCPCU). The Polish text was sponsored and prepared by the Council for Ecumenism of the Polish Episcopal Conference (PEC). Printed copies of the book have been sent to all the Polish bishops as well as to diocesan ecumenical officers and those responsible for ecumenism in religious orders and lay movements.
On the occasion of the publication Bishop Jacek Jezierski, Chairman of the Council for Ecumenism of the Polish Episcopal Conference, affirmed in a letter to the Pontifical Council that the Vademecum is “a vital aid in the ministry of the bishop in which we encounter several problems: the validity of baptism, mixed marriages, requests for confession and anointing of the sick in hospitals (e.g. by Orthodox Christians), or celebration of funerals of non-Catholic Christians in Roman Catholic churches. The Vademecum helps to quickly identify the appropriate indications from the Ecumenical Directory (1993). The ‘Appendix’ attached to the ‘Vademecum’ is also helpful as it contains encyclopaedic information about ecumenical partners in dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church. During the last half-century, there have been many ecumenical meetings and agreements which have produced numerous documents. The Vademecum gives the bishop a basic understanding of this complex set”.
The Polish translation is the fifth linguistic version of the Vademecum and the first one not prepared by the PCPCU. Officially presented on 4 December 2020 during a press conference held at the Vatican Press Office, the Vademecum was simultaneously published in English, French, Spanish and Italian. The Polish translation, together with the others, is now available on the website of the PCPCU.
Expressing its gratitude, the Pontifical Council hopes that the new linguistic version will be an encouragement for Episcopal Conferences around the world which use different languages from those in which the Vademecum is already available to provide their bishops with this important ecumenical tool in their own languages.