Polish bishops speak out over planned exhumations
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish Roman Catholic bishops have made their voice heard in the debate surrounding the planned exhumations of the bodies of victims of the 2010 crash of the Polish presidential plane in Smolensk, western Russia.
Photo: Flickr.com/Waiting For The Word
Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik, the spokesman for the Bishops’ Conference, has expressed sympathy with all families who lost their loved ones in the crash and for whom the exhumation is a traumatic experience.
“Their opinion should be taken into account”, he said, adding, however, that “while fully understanding the stand of those who are against the exhumations, it should be borne in mind that the crash of the presidential plane was a tragedy which touched the entire nation and […] therefore it constitutes an important element of the historical consciousness of Poles”.
Rytel-Andrianik recalled that in line with the teachings of the Church “the bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity”.
He stressed, however, that it is the duty of the Church to draw attention to the need to seek the truth and justice. An awareness of this gives rise to the moral obligation to oppose all attempts not only to use the Smolensk tragedy for political purposes but also to marginalise or belittle it, as well as to oppose potential attempts to evade responsibility by those who may be found guilty of it, he wrote in the official statement.
The Church’s reaction follows an announcement that the first exhumations of the victims of the Smolensk crash are scheduled for 14 November. (mk/rg)