CNA Staff, Sep 12, 2020 / 05:00 am
Belarus renewed its invitation to Pope Francis to visit the country Friday during talks with a senior Vatican official.
Vladimir Makei, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that the invitation remained open amid tensions between the local Catholic Church and the government, BelTA, the state-owned national news agency, reported Sept. 11.
President Alexander Lukashenko invited Pope Francis to visit Belarus during a trip to the Vatican in 2016.
Makei met with Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, a week after the leader of the Catholic Church in Belarus was blocked from returning to his homeland.
Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, a Belarusian citizen, was turned back by border guards when he attempted to return to Belarus Aug. 31 following a trip to Poland.
According to BelTA, Makei told Gallagher: “Your visit proves that Belarus and the Holy See have special relations of mutual understanding and trust. We are satisfied with the dynamics of the development of contacts at the high and highest levels.”