“With this meeting we pay homage to an exceptional personality in the Polish church, successor to memorable figures. We point out the important service he rendered for over sixteen years in Cracow, where in 1988 Saint John Paul II appointed him – an extremely significant choice, testifying to his high regard and trust – Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General,” said the Order of Malta’s Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, addressing Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz during the ceremony.
Fra’ Matthew Festing also recalled the close bond that unites the Order of Malta to Poland, dating back to the first millennium. During the 20th century this bond found its greatest expression in the courage and solidarity shown by the Order’s medical staff in the hospital that remained operative during the 1939 battle of Warsaw until the Nazi occupation.
At the end of the ceremony, Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz addressed the journalists present, expressing his appreciation for the important health and social care services performed by the Order of Malta’s volunteers in Poland.
Ten years have passed since Saint John Paul II passed away and Cardinal Nycz recalled his words: “a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism”. Referring to the current economic and social crisis in Europe he added, “a unity of states cannot only be based on political, economic and financial values, but must first of all be underpinned by the values of solidarity”.