Severian Baranyk was a Ukrainian priest in the Greek Catholic Church. When he was born in 1889, his home was in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. As the borders moved following the wars of the twentieth century, his hometown was in Poland from 1919 until 1940, when it became part of Ukraine. That last shift was fatal for Blessed Severian.
The Soviets were not fond of religion, of course. Marx, after all, had said that religion is the opiate of the masses. [I continue to insist that Marxism is the opiate of the intellectuals -- the workers paradise seems no more likely to happen than a celestial paradise. But that's beside the point of this post.] But if someone adhered to a religion, it was supposed to be the Russian Orthodox Church; being a Catholic was laying treason on top of folly. And of course once WWII began and the Ukrainians welcomed the German invaders as liberators, being Ukrainian was one more strike.
|Katyn Forest Memo|
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