Belarusian leader grants pope's request for reconciliation


Interfax-Religiia, 23 December 2020


The ambassador of the Vatican received news about the absence of hindrances for the return to Belorussia of Archbishop of Minsk-Mogilev Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz.


"The apostolic nunciature in the republic of Belarus reports that on 22 December 2020, information was received from the competent government bodies that Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz has no impediments to his return to the territory of the republic of Belarus," the report on the website of the Roman Catholic Church says.


The Vatican embassy expressed gratitude to the state bodies of the republic for the positive response to Pope Francis' request regarding the possibility for the archbishop's return for conducting the festive divine services of the Nativity of Christ "with believers, of whom he is pastor."


In September, Kondrusiewicz was denied entry into the republic from Poland without an explanation of the reasons. The metropolitan is a citizen of Belorussia. President Alexander Lukashenko declared at the time that Metropolitan Kondrusiewicz "traveled to Poland and received advice as to how to destroy the country." The official website of the Roman Catholic Church in Belorussia posted excerpts from an interview of Kondrusiewicz with the Polish Catholic television channel TVTrwam in which the head of Belorussian Catholic declared that the presidential elections in the country on 9 August had been "unfair." (tr. by PDS, posted 23 December 2020)



RISU, 23 December 2020


Roman Pope Francis personally asked Alexander Lukashenko to permit the head of Belorussian Catholics, Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, to return to Belarus. This was reported on 22 December by the head of the Belarusian foreign ministry, Vladimir Makei, the Credo.Press portal reports.


"It is from a feeling of profound respect for the Roman pope and personal good relations that the head of the Belorussian state considered it possible to grant the request of the Roman pope and give the corresponding order to find a resolution, taking into account all existing legal mechanisms," quotes the minister.


Vladimir Makei noted that an additional argument in favor of the return of Archbishop Tadeusz Kondruseiwicz to the country was the upcoming holiday of the Nativity. He emphasized that Lukashenko treats the Roman pope with special respect because he "is concerned about the well-being of Belarus."


As RISU has reported, the head of Roman Catholics of Belarus has written a request for retirement.


"On 3 January 2021 I will be 75 years old. I will officially go into retirement and I should receive a pension. I have already written a request for retirement and I will deliver it to the nuncio shortly," Archbishop Tadeusz reported.


Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz has been unable to return to his homeland for more than three months. On 31 August, border agents did not allow him into Belarus from Poland without an explanation. Subsequently it was declared that the Ministry of Internal Affairs declared Kondusiewicz's passport invalid and an inquiry was conducted because of the possibility that he had two existing citizenships and also because his former foreign citizenship lapsed after he was naturalized in Belarus. Lukashenko accused Kondrusiewicz several times of going to Poland "for consultations." (tr. by PDS, posted 23 December 2020)


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