Kraków: The Homily of Card. Angelo Sodano
18 kwietnia 2010 | 14:28 | mp Ⓒ Ⓟ
The Homily of Card. Angelo Sodano, The Holy Father’s Representative to the funeral of the President of Republic of Poland and other victims of the plane crash in Smolensk. Crakov 18. 04. 2010.
Nations Do not Die
The Hour of Solidarity
Distinguished Leaders of the Nations and Governments,
Distinguished Authorities of the Republic of Poland,
Venerable Brothers, Bishops and Priests of the Church in Poland,
You have come in great numbers from different parts of the world and from various places in Poland to this historic Marian Basilica to pay homage to President Lech Alexander Kaczynski, who left his noble Nation in grief, in tragic and soul-wringing circumstances, and also to the other ninety-four victims of the plane crash in Smolensk.
I have also come from the Vatican, the heart of the Catholic world, to assure the authorities and the Nation of the Republic of Poland of Pope’s Benedict XVI closeness and solidarity with you.
For more than a thousand years this dear Polish community has always been deeply unified with the Church in Rome. Close bonds of the Church communion were strengthened even more by the contribution brought by the Church in Cracow to the whole Christian community through the gift of the great Pope, that is John Paul II.
I am glad, therefore, to be able to bring here the prayer, greeting and blessing of the Pope Benedict XVI.
Our encounter has come about in a sad moment of Polish Nation’s history, in one of the many tragic hours of her past. But the very history tells us that this magnanimous people was always able to react properly in the time of trial and find a way to a better social co-existence and to a great national unity.
Such is now the wish, directed again towards the Polish Nation by Pope Benedict XVI – the wish for the Nation to stay in unity on the path of concord and active cooperation with other nations, in order to bring to the world an era of a true civilisation.
Also from you, the Heads of countries and authorities, who have come to Poland, in this hour of national mourning comes the message of a great hope for the future.
It is a hope that here, in Europe, as well as in the whole world, bonds of friendship and cooperation between peoples will be strengthened. It is a hope for a great solidarity between Nations in the joyful and sad moments of their history, with respect to their own identity and the culture of the nations.
„Nations do not perish,” successive Popes repeated on various occasions. The great son of this Polish land, Pope John Paul II, during his visit to the UN talked about the rights of a person but also about the “Rights of the Nations.”
Late lamented Pope John Paul II and the present Pope Benedict XVI unanimously remind us about the obligation to sustain solidarity between the Nations, in light of the great and superior principle of the unity of the humankind.
I cannot therefore fail to express the wish that the homage we pay today to the late President of the Republic of Poland, as well as the respectful thought we direct towards the victims of Katyn, who were to be honoured by the President, should contribute to developing a more unified Europe and world.
The Church, on her part, is involved in fulfilling this great ideal by carrying to the hearts of the Nations the Christ’s Gospel, which is a potent leaven, having the power to transform and refine every community and prepare us for a better world.
Dear Friends, for the Christians all over the world Easter time is the time of hope. Christ’s resurrection is the guarantee of victory also for the contemporary people. Christ’s light illuminates the mystery of personal and national grief also today.
Dear Polish friends, remember that the words of Psalm 144 are always relevant: „Happy is the people whose God is the Lord!”