On the feast day of Saint John Paul II, the Polish Bishops’s Conference called for the late pope to be named a Doctor of the Church and patron of Europe.

On October 22nd, President of the Polish Bishop’s Conference Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki sent a letter to Pope Francis, saying “John Paul II should be declared Doctor of the Church and co-patron of our European home.”

Gadecki said his papacy was “filled with groundbreaking decisions and significant events that changed the face of the papacy and influenced the course of European and world history,” influenced by a love philosophy, poetics, mysticism, and theology.

“The richness of the pontificate of St John Paul II – by many historians and theologians referred to as John Paul II the Great – came from the richness of his personality – poet, philosopher, theologian and mystic, realizing himself in many dimensions, from pastoral work and teaching, leading the universal Church, to personal testimony of holiness of life.”

The decision to send the letter was supported by former archbishop of Krakow Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, long-time friend and adviser to John Paul II for 40 years. Dziwisz added that “Pope Wojtyła’s legacy is a rich, versatile and creative synthesis of multiple paths of human thinking.”

“Pope Wojtyla’s legacy is a rich, versatile and creative synthesis of multiple paths of human thinking. There is no doubt that it still remains, and will for a long time remain, an important and comprehensive cultural renewal project on a global scale.”

Cardinal Dziwsiz said the wealth John Paul II’s pontificate could help solve the current “cultural crisis” Europe is experiencing.

“The thought of John Paul II is in fact thoroughly modern, original and creative, whilst remaining nobly classical. This, Wojtyła’s difficult balancing act between tradition and modernity, has contributed a huge breath of fresh air to the life of the Church, and through it to the wider universal spaces of broadly understood culture, politics and science.”

Dziwsiz said through his papacy “the Holy Pope became a real teacher and Doctor of the Church and in it an important guardian of European values,” and his teachings offer us the path to bettering the world.

“Pope Wojtyla is not only a great contemporary Doctor of the Church but also a prominent patron of Europe who has very much to say to everybody, both believers and unbelievers. In such difficult and complex times like ours, the legacy that he left behind in his writings is the full roadmap outlining good directions for our common journey towards a better world.”

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