Recall the thousands who were persecuted, as well as big names like Solzhenitsyn, official says.
“The sufferings in Soviet prisons and labor camps remain an issue for the whole of society here, not just religious communities,” said Msgr. Igor L. Kovalevsky, secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference. “But stories of witness and martyrdom are universally known and respected. Churches have been built to those who died for their faith, who deserve to be compared to the martyrs of Christianity’s first centuries.”
Msgr. Kovalevsky told The Tablet, a U.K.-based Catholic newspaper, that while dissidents such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008) are well known and will likely be remembered during the commemoration, there are tens of thousands of Christians who died for their beliefs.
The University of Notre Dame recently announced plans to publish part of Solzhenitsyn’s The Red Wheel, his magnum opus about the Russian Revolution.
An American priest who spent 18 years in confinement in the Soviet Union was Jesuit Father Walter J. Ciszek. His memoir, With God in Russia, was republished this year.
Mgsr. Kovalevsky told The Tablet that the Catholic Church was ready to help commemorate all those who died, but was particularly concerned to preserve the memory of the Soviet Union’s Christian victims.
The priest’s remarks came on the eve of a visit to Russia from the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?