IX International Congress „Catholics and ecology – Water common good” began with the Holy Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady Star of the New Evangelization and St. Pope John Paul II. The devotion was presided over by Fr. Cardinal. Zenon Grocholewski. Cardinal has been the patron of the Congress which this year was organized by the College of Social and Media Culture in collaboration with the Pontifical Council, Cultural Foundation of Science and Faith – STOQ and the Polish Ministry of Environment for the ninth time.
The Congress was opened by Tadeusz Rydzyk CSsR – Rector-founder of the College, and the inaugural lecture (Water as the key to sustainable development) was given by prof. dr. Jan Szyszko – the Minister of the Environment:
Water is a basic compound, which is essential to the life of the world. Need for water is the main problem that currently plagues the world, and, moreover this is a serious problem from the Polish point of view. Poland is a country that has a negative water balance and it’s time to prevent it – said the professor.
A congratulatory letter from the Marshal of the Sejm Marek Kuchciński was submitted to Father Rector, Dr. Zdzislaw Klafka. Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło also addressed a few words to the Congress participants. The following speaker was Mayor of Torun-Michał Zaleski.
The event was attended by speakers from Argentina, Belgium, Spain, Poland and Italy. On the first day of the conference, Dr. Tebaldo Vinciguerra of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace raised the issue of the role of the Church in the process of raising awareness of the faithful on the importance of water as the foundation of life, and Silvia Zimmerman del Castillo from Argentina and Mariusz Gajda, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of the Environment, presented the impact of climate change on water resources. The problem of management of water resources was raised by Dr Konrad Tomaszewski, General Director of State Forests, Dr Eng. Piotr Dlugosz, CEO of Pro – Invest Solutions. The last session was devoted to universal access to water. Among the speakers were: Rosario Lembo, President of the Italian Committee of the World Water Contract, Dr. Aleksandr Gelfan of the Russian Academy of Sciences. This part was completed with a discussion.
The second day of the Congress „Catholics and ecology: Water common good” began with a lecture of the speaker from Spain. Pablo Martinez de Anguita d’Huart, drew particular attention to subsidiarity and education: „People can take care of the ecosystem, but the authorities must help them in this,” – he emphasized.
The Director of the Department of Water Resources at the Ministry of Environment of Poland – Mateusz Balcerowicz considered the purposes of water use and water management reforms . Robert Kęsy of Water Management discussed on the theme of water as an element.
The last session of the Congress – „Man in consideration of the gift of creation” – ended with lectures given by Fr.Prelate Tomasz Trafny and prof. Henry Witczyk from the Catholic University of Lublin.
Speeches topics and discussed issues encouraged lively discussion, in which the College students participated actively. Individual meeting with prof. Martinez and the youth of CSMC should also be mentioned. The speaker curiously listened to the story of the College and its students. He also answered all the questions asked by the youth.
Summarizing the Congress Dr. Zdzislaw Klafka said: „Nothing has joined us but water.” The event was reported on social channels of CSMC, broadcast via student television Tilma, student SIM Radio, TV Trwam and Radio Maryja.
Materials prepared by Monika Gondek and Maria Kaliściak were used.
Foto (K. Cegielska, J. Anuszkiewicz):
Foto (K. Stróżyk):