Amid growing concern in Lithuania about a potential Russian invasion, the nation’s leading prelate warned that “the old mentality of the Soviet empire is still alive, and many in Russia consider the three Baltic states to be part of it.”
“But Lithuanians have fought hard to reestablish their independence
and have shown they’re willing to pay a price for freedom,” said
Archbishop Gintaras Grusas of Vilnius.
He added: Whether it’s America or Russia, everybody wants to be great. But a
country expresses its greatness when it can respect and live in peace
with its neighbors rather than trying to conquer them. People who’ve
gone through 50 years of Soviet occupation and all subsequent hardships
know insecurities are part of life. But we’re praying peace will be
preserved, with the same faith in God that’s helped us in our history.
Father Paul Clavins, spokesman for the bishops in neighboring Latvia, is less concerned about a potential invasion.
He told the National Catholic Reporter that
“politicians are trying to scare us by highlighting Russia’s military
presence on our border. But the Church has no particular opinion about
this, and hasn’t been asked for moral and spiritual guidance.”