18 March 2011, 18:21
Cardinal Koch commemorated believers executed for faith in Soviet years
Moscow, March 18, Interfax - Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, visited the Church of Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia at former NKVD firing range in Butovo.
Church rector Archpriest Kirill Kaleda told the cardinal about tragic history of the firing range and thousands of innocent victims killed in Butovo. Many of them were later canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church.
Father Kirill said that besides Orthodox clerics, a Catholic priest was also executed at the firing range. Several citizens of Switzerland, Koch's compatriots, were also among victims.
The Catholic hierarch visited the Resurrection Cathedral, Church of Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia and prayed before the holy cross installed at mass graves, the Department for External Church Relation reports.
About thousand Russian church clerics and believers executed in Butovo have been named. Several hundreds of them have been canonized.
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