Mass held in Kigali for dead Polish leaders

Members of the diplomatic corps, Rwandans and friends of Poland, yesterday attended a solemn mass to pray for Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, Maria Kaczynski and 94 other top Polish officials who died on April 10 in a plane accident.
Mgr Ivo Scapolo conducting the Mass yesterday. (Photo/ F. Goodman)
Mgr Ivo Scapolo conducting the Mass yesterday. (Photo/ F. Goodman)

Members of the diplomatic corps, Rwandans and friends of Poland, yesterday attended a solemn mass to pray for Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, Maria Kaczynski and 94 other top Polish officials who died on April 10 in a plane accident.

The service held at Paroisse St. Vincent Palloti in Gikondo, was presided over by Monseigneur Ivo Scapolo, the Vatican representative in the country, who comforted the people of Poland and friends of Poland.

“The pain and trouble that has affected everyone, but more particularly the Polish nation, gets a different meaning thanks to the words of Jesus. These help us to better understand the meaning of life and death and invite us to advance with courage and hope throughout our earthly pilgrimage towards the Father’s house,” noted Mgr. Scapolo.

President Kaczynski, his wife, and top military brass and scores of political figures, died in western Russia as they travelled to commemorate the 1940 Katyn Massacre in which Soviet security forces executed 22,000 Polish officers.

“All those who perished during this grave catastrophe have exceeded the threshold of death, and have started to live the experience of meeting with God, He who is love and mercy, peace, joy and infinite beauty.”

The government was officially represented by Robert Masozera, the acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minaffet), who also extended a message of sympathy to the grieving nation and reiterated Rwanda’s solidarity with Poland.

“Our government learnt with great shock of the death of President Lech Kaczynski, together with his wife and many other high ranking officials in the tragic plane accident. The Government and the people of the Republic of Rwanda wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the Government and the people of the Republic of Poland,” said Masozera.

Charles Ngarambe, the Honorary Consul of Poland to Rwanda, solemnly noted that it is very rare that a country loses many of its leaders in one tragic event.

“This is also the week here in Rwanda when we remember our own terrible loss during the Genocide of 1994 when we lost so many of our family and friends, and we can fully comprehend and feel the grief of the Polish people at this heartbreaking time,” said Ngarambe.

The Government this sent a message of condolences to the government and people of Poland over the accident.

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