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Professor Henryk Skarżyński decorated with the Papal Medal

On 18 November 2013, in the House of the Warsaw Archbishop,  an unusual ceremony took place – Professor Henryk Skarżyński was decorated with the Papal Medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice. The ceremony, which was initiated by the sublime words of His Eminence Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz – the Warsaw Metropolitan, has become an extremely important event not only for Professor Henryk Skarżyński, but also for the whole medical and scientific community.

When Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz was presenting the Papal Medal, he said: – Professor Skarżyński knows how to connect two callings in his life, which are elementary for every lay person in the Church: the calling of a man who lives in the family and brings up his children, with the calling of a man who has chosen a mission of a physician and has achieved so much in this field that the whole Poland, Europe and the world is using his intellect, knowledge and wisdom, while cooperating.

The participants of the meeting were inter alia: Maciej Klimczak – the Undersecretary of State in the Office of President, Aleksander Sopliński – the Deputy Minister of Health, Józef Oleksy – the Former Prime Minister, Mieczysław Szatanek – the Chairman of the Regional Medical Chamber in Warsaw, Prof. Jerzy Woy-Wojciechowski – the Chairman of the Polish Medical Society. The ceremony gathered also many other distinguished guests from the world of science, politics, the representatives of the Church, mass media, co-workers of Professor Skarżyński, as well as his family and friends.

As the first, the Former Prime Minister Józef Oleksy congratulated and said: – For me the decoration with the Papal Medal is the proof that Professor Skarżyński with his authority has already crossed the borders of all continents (…). As his longtime friend I perceive him through the prism of what kind of a person he is. And he is extremely open to others, helpful, patient and ready to work 24 hours a day. This last isn’t known as a virtue to all. Professor is a man who is constantly searching for new solutions, competing with the world and in this area he has amazing achievements.

Honoring Professor Skarżyński with this unique decoration is the expression of notice and acceptation of the idea, which serves the people, serves a man, improves daily interpersonal communication. Through the implementation of this idea hundreds of thousands of small and adult patients have been brought back to the world of sounds by Professor Henryk Skarżyński.

Congratulating Prof. Jerzy Woy-Wojciechowski said: Our Friend, Professor Henryk Skarżyński, is an excellent physician and a wonderful, good man. The medical profession is both – an art and a service to other man, and requires the greatest knowledge which must be supplemented throughout the whole life (…).  What distinguishes Professor Skarżyński is the fact that the real physician – like a priest – must have a vocation to serve other people. Professor Skarżyński has all these merits.

The Papal Medal was awarded to Professor Skarżyński as an appreciation for his involvement in work for the people and for a common good. The recognition of Professor’s exceptional involvement was underlined in the congratulations the President of the Regional Medical Chamber in Warsaw, Dr. Mieczysław Szatanek: (…) Professor Skarżyński rehabilitate not only the hearing. He restores the ability of contact with an environment, of personality development and most of all the ability of full participation in the life of society. And this is the broader dimension of his work, more than just treating the patients.

Maciej Klimczak, the Undersecretary of State in the Office of the President of the Republic of Poland mentioned the patients too: – I had the opportunity to observe Professor at work and I heard a delight the patients are saying about him. I hope there will be more people like the Professor in our medicine.

The Pontifical Medal was awarded not only for the activities for the patients. Special words of appreciation for the Professor’s organizational activity were spoken by the Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Health Aleksander Sopliński: (…) Professor is a creator – he created something unprecedented in Polish conditions. Something that makes Polish medicine and Polish scientific thought famous, as well as Polish innovations for health care across the world. Therefore, I wish nothing will hamper you, Professor. Create more!

On behalf of patients – both children and adults – Bishop Tadeusz Pikus thanked warmly: – Sometimes you help people in a hopeless or very difficult situation. I thank you for it very much.

The official part of the ceremony ended Professor Skarżyński, who thanked heartily for such a large presence of his guests and said goodbye with special words, prepared just for this occasion:

“When you see
when you feel
when you hear around
this means you have a healthy senses.
that so many friends form the circle
with whom you can share this day – and the next one.”