From the ashes of Communism…

Reading the Daily Telegraph yesterday, I came across an extraordinary story. The headline says it all:

Mikhail Gorbachev admits he is a Christian.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Communist leader of the Soviet Union, has acknowledged his Christian faith for the first time, paying a surprise visit to pray at the tomb of St Francis of Assisi.

Read the full story at the paper’s website here. What can one say about this? To be sure, I do not know which is more surprising – that Gorbachev is a Christian or that he has a particular devotion to St Francis of Assisi. One would expect a Russian to be devoted to one of the tougher saints, let’s say, the likes of Ignatius of Loyola or Ambrose!

Having said that, I am very surprised that Gorbachev has anything to do with specifically Catholic Saints at all. It is rare that I hear of any positive interaction between the Catholic Church and Russian Orthodox, to which the last leader of the Soviet Union belongs. Maybe, just maybe, Gorbachev could be a positive influence here. At any rate, I am sure his prayers will be.


One thought on “From the ashes of Communism…

  1. Gorbachev has just become a Putinite, a nationalist whose statements concerning the USA and the west in general are completely in line with the paranoia smothering the new Russian elite.

    The Speaker of the State Duma, a Soviet zombie by name Boris Gryzlov, recently blamed bird flu in Russia on western secret agents. That’s standard fare on Russian TV nowadays.

    Sunday Mass attendance amongst the Russian Orthodox in Russia is estimated to be 0.7%. The rise in profile of the Church in Russia has everything to do with the authorities’ desire to find an ‘ideoplogy’ to replace the collapse in morale after Communism’s fall, and has nothing whatsoever to do with religious belief. Russia, where I have lived for more than 11 years, is in essence a pagan country.

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