Loading
Catholic clergy asked to leave Belarus
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Catholics in the former Soviet republic of Belarus are praying and scratching their heads at the expulsion of 12 Roman Catholic Polish religious, 7 priests and 5 nuns, from service in their country.

According to Forum 18 News Service, Fr Yan Kuchynski, the Dean of Grodno's Catholic Cathedral, said “no reason whatsoever” has been given for the refusal of Belarusian authorities to renew the visas of the 12 religious, all of whom have been serving Belarusian Catholics for almost 10 years.

The priests and nuns have been ordered to leave Belarus by 2007.

Although Belarus has no official religion, the Belarus Orthodox Church is the only recognized religion in the country.  Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has continued to consolidate power since his election in July of 1994 and many international bodies are keeping an eye on Lukashenko’s policies which have clamped down on freedom of speech and the press, peaceful assembly, and religion.

It was only one week ago that a Catholic priest, Fr. Antoni Kochko, was tried in Minsk for saying Mass without the required state permission.  Fr. Kochko was acquitted, but according to “The Universe,” many fear that the recent increase in restrictions on Catholics point to the possibility that Lukashenko could be reneging on an agreement made in 2005 with the former Archbishop of Minsk Cardinal Kazimierz Swiatek to ease restrictions on the nation’s Catholics.

The Grodno Diocese is the smallest Catholic diocese in Belarus but has the largest number of parishes.  2005 government figures reported 170 Catholic parishes, staffed by 168 priests – 72 of whom were foreign citizens.  Although 80% of the national population belongs to the Belarus Orthodox Church, in the Grodno Diocese, which borders Poland to the west, the number of Catholics an Orthodox is nearly equal.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
25

Liturgical Calendar

October 25, 2014

Saturday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
10/25/14
10/24/14
10/23/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 4: 7-16
Gospel:: Lk 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/25/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 13:1-9

Homily
Date
10/25/14
10/24/14
10/23/14