Minsk Abp. Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz can return from exile
The Archbishop of Minsk had been denied re-entry to Belarus on 31 August. A personal letter from Pope Francis to Alexandr Lukashenko. A declaration from the nuncio Msgr. Ante Jozic.
Minks (AsiaNews) - The Catholic Archbishop of Minsk, Msgr. Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, is expected to return to Belarus today or tomorrow and will have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas Mass with his faithful in the capital. The Archbishop was denied the right to return on August 31, after a trip to Poland, because of suspicions he had "foreign contacts" with the intention of subverting the Belarusian government.
Yesterday Belarusian Foreign Minister, Vladimir Makei, said that during his visit last week, the nuncio Msgr. Claudio Guggerotti delivered a personal letter from Pope Francis, to the head of state, which "contains a request linked to a well-known personality, the Metropolitan of Minsk, Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz Mogilev". Out of "respect for the pope and good personal relations", Lukashenko would have given instructions "to find a solution" to the question. "The upcoming great Christmas festivity and other festive events are one more reason to make this decision towards Metropolitan Minsk and Mogilev ... despite a number of negative things about this person."
Last night, Msgr. Ante Jozic, the new nuncio to Belarus, issued a statement stating that "the competent state authorities pose no obstacles to the return of Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz".
Archbishop Jozic also thanks the state authorities "for having responded positively to the request of Pope Francis to allow the return of Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz in order to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord with the faithful of whom he is pastor".
Archbishop Kondrusiewicz should return to Minsk today or tomorrow. In recent days he gave an interview to the Polish media in which he specified that he had always worked for the Gospel and for reconciliation in the country, and not to plot against the authorities of the Belarusian state.