Pope sends condolences as Poland mourns its lost leaders

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) — Poland’s Catholic primate has urged fellow citizens to see the death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others in a weekend air disaster as a “dramatic challenge” to build “a fuller community” at the national level and with neighboring states.

“We are all asking ourselves the same painful question — how was this possible?” Archbishop Henryk Muszynski of Gniezno said at an April 11 Mass in his archdiocese.

“Why has a new drama been added to the greatest drama of the last war in the innocent deaths of our nation’s political and religious elites?” he asked. “We can expect the causes of this tragic accident to be explained directly in the future. But the wider question will no doubt stay unanswered, along with the pain and sadness not just of close families but also of all Poles.”

The plane carrying Kaczynski, top government and military officials and religious leaders crashed in heavy fog April 10 while attempting to land at the Russian airport of Smolensk.

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