1/19/2019 7:37:00 AM Archbishop calls for unity at slain Polish mayor's burial Gdansk city Catholic archbishop called on unity among Poland's divided politicians during a funeral Mass Saturday for Pawel Adamowicz, the northern city's slain mayor
Monika Sciclowska Associated Press
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Catholic archbishop of the Polish city of Gdansk urged an end to political and social divisions in Poland Saturday, as thousands across the country attended the funeral Mass for Pawel Adamowicz, the northern city’s slain mayor.
Polish and European officials joined Adamowicz’s widow, two daughters, and other family at the ceremony at the vast Gothic St. Mary’s Basilica.
Adamowicz, 53, died Monday after being stabbed the night before at a charity event. The arrested suspect is an ex-convict with a grudge against an opposition party that Adamowicz once belonged to. The slaying, which came as Poland faces a deep political divide over actions by the conservative ruling Law and Justice party, was a shock to the nation, drawing calls for greater national unity and condemnation of hate speech in the public sphere.
In his speech, Gdansk Archbishop Slawoj Leszek Glodz said Adamowicz’s death was a “bell calling for alarm.”
“Our homeland needs harmony in politics,” Glodz said.
European Council President Donald Tusk, a personal friend of Adamowicz, was among those in attendance. Poland’s President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also attended along with former leaders including Lech Walesa. The powerful leader of the ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, was not present.
Other dignitaries included former German President Joachim Gauck and city mayors from The Netherlands and Germany.
Prayers were said by Jewish and Muslim community leaders.
The black urn with the mayor’s ashes was placed before the altar, surrounded by dozens of white roses. It was to be laid to rest at one of the basilica’s chapels.
Crowds in the streets were able to watch the ceremony on giant screens. On the streets, black-and-white photos of the much-liked mayor were seen in many shop and private apartment windows.
A solemn procession brought Adamowicz’s casket to the basilica for a Mass Friday night. The body was then cremated.