His All-Holiness visited Poland at the invitation of the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, who officially invited the Ecumenical Patriarch to visit and offer words of support, consolation and hope to the millions of refugees that have fled from Ukraine as a result of the ongoing invasion by Russia.
President Duda expressed his profound gratitude to His All-Holiness for accepting his personal invitation, adding that "today His All-Holiness, as a tireless pilgrim, has come to bless the refugees from Ukraine." The President also acknowledged and thanked the Ecumenical Patriarch for his clear and consistent support of the victims of this horrendous war.
His All-Holiness also met with ecumenical leaders, led by the President of the Polish Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops, His Excellency Archbishop Stanislaw Gądecki, repeating his condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine as “unjust and unjustifiable.”
Moreover, His All-Holiness was warmly received by His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland, who hosted the Patriarchal delegation for a prayer service in the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia where the Ecumenical Patriarch had laid the foundation stone in 2015. There, His All-Holiness denounced the slaughter of Ukrainian Orthodox by Russian Orthodox as “absolutely unacceptable.”
During his time in Warsaw, the Ecumenical Patriarch was able to visit several migrant shelters, where he had the opportunity to meet personally with Ukrainian refugees in order to hear their painful stories and convey his paternal support, as well as to distribute icons and gifts to the many children who left behind their fathers, homes and schools in Ukraine.
Finally, His All-Holiness held a number of press conferences about the purpose of his visit, the horror of the current war, and the plight of the refugees from Ukraine.