“The awareness of the power that lies in the truth revives my hope for the ongoing synod that it will not be manipulated in any way and used to authorize German theses, openly contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church,” wrote Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki of Poland in a letter to Pope Francis.
According to the chairman of the Polish Episcopal Conference, the authors of the working document of the Synod of Bishops “Instrumentum Laboris” “put forward a number of practical proposals, starting from not recording the child’s gender in the baptism certificate, the possibility of changing the name and gender in the baptism certificate, by providing transgender people with access to the sacraments, including priesthood and to consecrated life, to the obligation to use non-discriminatory language in the Church and training for clergy on how to serve transgender people. All in the name of the so-called the latest achievements of social sciences. However, there is a risk that the scientific findings cited by the Synodale Weg (Synodal Way) are wrong, as is the case with another once popular theory of racism.”
Letter from Archbishop of Poznań Stanisław Gądecki to Pope Francis
Rome, October 9, 2023
On the day the Synod began, I received by e-mail a document entitled “Decision of the Synodal Path of the Catholic Church in Germany.” The starting point for analyzing the situation of the Catholic Church in this country is the crisis of sexual abuse in the German Church. The authors seem so ashamed of the way German bishops reacted to reports of sexual abuse by clergy that they decide to make a moral and legal revolution in the universal Church. However, it seems that this would not be an evangelical revolution, but rather one inspired by left-liberal ideologies.
In the Instrumentum laboris (B 3.4) the question was asked about the degree of doctrinal authority that can be attributed to the discernment carried out by a single episcopal conference and by a continental assembly. The question is whether they can be “understood as entities with specific competences, including some authentic doctrinal authority”? It seems that when looking for an answer, we cannot abstract from what happened in connection with the synodal process announced by Your Holiness, and what may have an overt or hidden impact on the course of the Rome sessions of the Synod.
Three main topics
The three main topics are changing the Church system, changing teaching on sexual morality and ordaining women to the diaconate and priesthood. The first is a sine qua non condition for achieving subsequent goals. The starting point is the principle of inculturation. The Church should become as similar as possible to the world, which in its liberal-democratic version is a model of humanism. The Church does “appreciate democracy”, but only when it is founded on the correct concept of the person. He also reminds us that “[it] easily turns into open or disguised totalitarianism” (CA 46). The question arises: where does democracy actually function based on the correct concept of the human person, i.e. respecting the right to life of every human being from the moment of conception to natural death? Moreover, with all its good features, liberal democracy is certainly not the only good system. It is enough to recall Aristotle’s classification of political systems.
Synodale Weg demands that the Church adopt the political system that dominates in the West today, along with all the principles of operation of democratic bureaucracy, starting from lay supervision over the clergy, transparency of decision-making processes, participation of lay people in filling church positions and term limits for holding offices. The power of the pope and bishops should be limited and subject to the supervision of the laity organized in a parallel power structure to the hierarchy.
The second topic is the blessing of various types of non-sacramental unions, including same-sex unions. One may ask why blessing people living in sin are needed? The answer given is relatively simple: these people apply for the blessing themselves, and besides – as the authors of the document claim – these people do not live in mortal sin and are not deprived of grace. A sin, however, is the teaching of the Church, which is perceived not only as unmerciful and discriminatory, but also – according to the authors – makes the Church responsible for the persecution and suicide of transgender people. The Church is not allowed to negatively evaluate any human behavior that is undertaken in the name of love. Love justifies everything and makes everything good. Everything that is an expression of self-determination is in principle good and should be recognized as such by the Church. Recognition here means giving a blessing. Thanks to the benedictio obtained (and not through conversion), people want to direct their lives towards God, even though their actions remain contrary to God’s law.
Traditionally, in the teaching of the Church, relationships between people, including sexual relationships, are subject to moral evaluation. Saint Augustine was astonished that not only saints and those devoted with all their hearts to God were guided by love in their lives, but also hardened sinners. Just think of the road robbers who would rather endure the most severe torture than reveal the names of their comrades. “They would not be capable of this unless they had a great capacity for love” ( Facere tamen ista sine magno amore non poterunt )  . However, there are two types of love: “God’s love carried to the point of contempt of oneself” and “self-love carried to the point of contempt of God”  . Therefore, love does not justify everything and does not make everything good. In line with the Catholic approach, we treat every person with respect, but not every human choice.
The authors of the document expect that the Church will recognize, in addition to sacramental marriage, as good and leading to sanctification, also “free unions”, civil unions, civil partnerships, same-sex unions, etc. Their social acceptance – in their opinion – must be expressed in the liturgy of the Church. When listening to this, it is important to remember that, according to the dynamics of this process seen in the secular world, the legalization of civil partnerships is only the first step on the road to “marriage for all.” The proposed vacatio legis , i.e. making a decision today and implementing it “only” in March 2026, is intended to weaken the opposition from the faithful. According to Synodale Weg, the entire teaching of the Church on gender should be fundamentally changed, as it does not correspond to the self-understanding of transgender people. It contains only – as they say – church “insinuations”. The request also includes a reinterpretation of the Bible, including Genesis 1:27.
The authors of the document put forward a number of practical proposals, ranging from not recording the child’s gender in the baptism certificate, the possibility of changing the name and gender in the baptism certificate, through providing transgender people with access to the sacraments, including priesthood and consecrated life, to the obligation to use non-discriminatory language in the Church and training for clergy on how to serve transgender people. All in the name of the so-called the latest achievements of social sciences. However, there is a risk that the scientific findings cited by the Weg Synod are wrong, as is the case with another once popular theory of racism.
If doctrinal competence were granted to episcopal conferences or continental assemblies, the above theses would be considered Catholic and – perhaps – would be imposed on other conferences of the continental assembly, despite their clearly non-Catholic character.
As president of the Polish Episcopal Conference, with filial devotion and respect for the apostolic office of the Successor of St. Peter, and at the same time with concern and sadness regarding the decisions of the German Synodal Way, I would like to draw the Holy Father’s attention to these extremely unacceptable and un-Catholic theses of the Veg Synod, trusting that the apostolic deposit, of which Your Holiness is the Guardian and Trustee, will remain intact.
The awareness of the power that lies in the truth revives my hope for the ongoing synod that it will not be manipulated in any way and used to authorize German theses, openly contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church.
I entrust Your Holiness’s life and ministry to the Mother of the Church, assuring you of the prayers of the faithful and shepherds of the Church in Poland and asking for your apostolic blessing.
With filial devotion,
+ Stanisław Gądecki
Metropolitan Archbishop of Poznań
Chairman of the Polish Episcopal Conference
 Sw. Augustyn, Discorsi III/2 (151-183) on the New Testament, Citta’ Nuova Editrice, Rome 1990, 169, 11, 14, s. 794.
 So the two states made two loves, the earthly love of self to the point of contempt of God, and the heavenly love of God to the point of contempt of self. In short, she glories in herself, this in the Lord (Św. Augustyn, Państwo Boże, XIV, 28, Wydawnictwo Antyk, Kęty 1988, p. 546).
SOURCE: Translated and republished from Misyjne.pl