Voices From Russia, Too

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

A Photo Essay. A Point of Unity. Orthodox and Catholic Easter in Byelorussia

Byelorussian President Aleksandr Lukashenko (1954- ), with his extramarital son Nikolai (2004- ), lights a candle at St Nicholas Church in Petrikov (Gomel Oblast) on Easter Sunday

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Metropolitan Philaret Vakhromeyev of Minsk and Slutsk (1935- ), Exarch of all Byelorussia, serves Easter liturgy in Minsk at Holy Spirit Cathedral

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Believers at Easter liturgy at Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk

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Blessing of Easter food baskets at the Nativity of the Mother of God convent in Grodno (Grodno Oblast)

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Blessing of Easter food baskets in Vitebsk (Vitebsk Oblast)

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Catholic Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz (1946- ) of Minsk and Mogilev, held the Easter Vigil in the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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Believers at the Easter Vigil at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Minsk

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The Easter Vigil, was held at St Xavier Roman Catholic Cathedral in Grodno (Grodno Oblast). Catholic Bishop Aleksander Kaszkiewicz (1949- ) of Grodno lights the great Easter candle.

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In Byelorussia, most of the population is Orthodox, but some 15 percent are Catholic. Everyone lives together in peace… there’s no ethnic or religious strife there. That’s as it should be… we stay on our side of the fence, you stay on yours, and the gate between is unlocked… there can be no “unity”… but there can be friendship, and decent pragmatic folk will grasp that, for it’s good, no doubt on that score. As for the airy-fairy schemes of loud-mouthed pseudo-intellectuals, I think that all good Catholics would agree with me… “send us letters of friendship only… send us no more letters on doctrine”. We’d clink a glass and drink to that… and God would smile at it all. Is it so wrong to acknowledge our DIFFERENCES? They DO exist, after all…

My thanks to Mike, the original poster of these images.

BMD

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