24 December 2020, 15:11
Leader of Catholic Church in Belarus Kondrusiewicz returns to country
Minsk, December 24, Interfax - Archbishop of Minsk and Mogilyov Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz has returned to Belarus, a spokesperson for the Catholic Church in Belarus told Interfax on Thursday.
The church announced Kondrusiewicz's participation in Christmas celebrations in Minsk on Thursday and Friday.
"Archbishop Kondrusiewicz will pray together with the congregation on Christmas in Minsk: on December 24 and December 25, he will lead the Christmas masses at two Catholic churches in Minsk," the Catholic Church in Belarus said on its website.
As reported earlier, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said on December 22 that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko asked him to find a solution to the situation surrounding the leader of the Catholic Church in Belarus.
The same day, the Vatican embassy was informed that there were no obstacles for Kondrusiewicz's return to Belarus.
In September, Belarus denied Kondrusiewicz entry on the way from Poland and gave no explanation. The metropolitan is a Belarusian citizen. Lukashenko said at the time that the archbishop "travelled to Poland and received advice on how to destroy the country." The Roman Catholic Church in Belarus published on its website extracts from Kondrusiewicz' interview with the Polish Catholic TV Trwam channel, in which he claimed that the August 9 presidential election in Belarus was "not fair."
Belarus has seen continuous protests against the official results of the August 9 presidential election. The authorities declared the incumbent head of state, Alexander Lukashenko, the winner. Lukashenko has been in office since 1994. The opposition has not recognized the results of the presidential election, saying they were falsified. The protesters are demanding Lukashenko's resignation, the release of political prisoners, and a new election.
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