Russian Catholics stage ‘quiet commemorations’ for deceased dissident Navalny

A senior Russian Catholic has urged church leaders abroad to commemorate the opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, as armed police dispersed citizens mourning his death at age 47 in a remote prison camp.

“When I heard he was dead, I recalled the words of St Luke’s Gospel, ‘Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace’ — he did everything he could for his country, and I thank God such people still exist,” said the Moscow-based lay Catholic.

“The Catholic church in Russia doesn’t speak out on sensitive issues — though we’ve been here for centuries, we still feel like we’re in a ghetto, keeping quiet so no one will notice us. But I really hope memorial services will be held in other countries — that even the pope might join prayers in his memory.”

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