(Vatican Radio) On Sunday November 9, the world marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. An occasion which provides us with the opportunity to take a look at how Catholics kept the faith alive in Lithuania at the time of the communist regime. Lithuanian Cardinal Audrys Bačkis highlights the key role played by Vatican Radio at the time:
Listen to Cardinal Audrys Bačkis in an interview with Veronica Scarisbrick:
As Cardinal Bačkis says in this interview it was a time when the Church was very much under the control of the communist regime: "... we have some very heroic witness from both lay people and religious. But the most important thing in terms of helping people was, I would say, Vatican Radio transmitting in Lithuanian, informing even on internal matters. Because in Lithuania under the communist regime there was a complete control over schools and a complete control of the mass media...."
And while it was forbidden to listen to Vatican Radio by the communist regime, in the last decade or so before its demise, says Cardinal Bačkis, it seems it was common practice: “One bishop told me how when you entered a hospital ward you could hear all the transistors going and everyone listening publicly to Vatican Radio. A lot depended on the local communist party, the local Secretary General”.
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