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 Vilnius, August 26: Cardinal Bačkis Desiderated Christian Focus in Lithuanian Millenium Program

Cardinal Audrys Bačkis deplored the lack of Christian focus in the governmental Lithuanian Millenium program, intended to commemorate the millenium of Lithuanian cultural heritage. Lithuanian Millenium program is based on the earliest known mention of the name “Lithuania” in Quedlinburg Annals of 1009, related to the missionary activity of St. Bruno (Boniface) of Querfurt.

Cardinal expressed his criticism on the meeting of the Commission of Lithuanian Millenium, held in Lithuanian President’s Office. He said that the major projects within the Millenium program have been missing to demonstrate the real significance of the commemorated event, Christian initiation of Lithuania. Cardinal recalled his statement in 2003, addressed to Lithuanian political leaders, exhorting to pay more attention to religious monuments related to Christian roots of Lithuania. He said that his repeated proposals addressed to the Seimas, Government and the mentioned Commission were not taken into account. Cardinal deplored “obvious disproportion” in financing projects of Lithuanian Millennium program, underestimating objects of Lithuanian Christian identity.

Cardinal Bačkis especially pointed to Vilnius Cathedral needing reconstruction, and the church in Trakai, going back to the times of Lithuanian baptism.

During the same meeting Cardinal Bačkis also spoke with the director of Lithuanian Art Museum Mr. Romualdas Budrys, concerning media-reported plans to expose the treasury of Vilnius Cathedral in Warsaw National Museum. Cardinal deplored, he got the news about Director Budrys' plans only from the media. "Lithuanian Art Museum is the administrator, not owner of the Cathedral treasury. It is strange, that the things have been planned not even informing the owner ", said the Archbishop of Vilnius.

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