Hrodna Bishop Condemns Expulsion of Polish Priests and Nuns from Belarus
On 9 December an address of Bishop Aliaksandr Kashkevich to priests and believers was read in Catholic churches of Hrodna region. It concerns expelling of 7 Polish Catholic priests and 5 nuns from Belarus. They haven’t been allowed to stay in Belarus to work the next year.
According to RFE/RL Bishop Aliaksandr Kashkevich emphasized that thousands of believers had addressed the authorities with an appeal to reconsider the decision on evicting Polish priests and nuns, but it remained valid. Fr. Aliaksandr Kashkevich noted that he as the head of the Conference of Catholic bishops of Belarus had addressed the authorities several times with a request to cancel that decision. But he hasn’t got an answer from the presidential administration.
’According to the rules of the universal Catholic Church, the authority in the church belongs to bishops. The legislation of our country also leaves the diocese bishop the right to invite foreign citizens for work. That is why external interference with the sphere authority of a diocese bishop’s authority is a violation of the law and a violation of the freedom of the church,’ the bishop said.
Fr. Aliaksandr Kashkevich has expressed his ‘sorrow and protest’ in connection with the refusal of the authorities and their proposal to invite other priests, and has called upon priests and believers to pray in the hope that 7 Polish priests and 5 nuns would stay to work in Belarus.