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Memories of a prelate who survived the gulags

July 28, 2011

Cardinal Achille Silvestrini, who served as the Vatican's "foreign minister" during the 1980s, recalls the heroic resilience that the late Cardinal Kazimierz Swiatek showed during his years as a prisoner in a Soviet labor camp.

Cardinal Swiatek, who died last week at the age of 96, narrowly escaped execution during a Stalinist purge, and spent 9 years in a Siberian prison camp. While there, he rallied the faith of his fellow prisoners, drawing the wrath of prison officials, and somehow emerged robust and undaunted by the harsh regimen of life in the gulag.


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  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Jul. 29, 2011 8:18 AM ET USA

    I hope our young people have opportunities to learn about contemporary courageous spiritual lives such as Cardinal Swiatek!