By Anne Kurian-Montabone

Belarusan  President Alexandre Lukashenko received a Special Envoy of  Pope Francis, on December 17, 2020, indicated the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni.

Former Nuncio in Belarus, Monsignor Claudio Gugerotti was sent “to express the Pope’s solicitude and concerns over the country’s current situation,” specified Matteo Bruni.

In mid-August, the Pontiff appealed for the “respect of justice and of law” in Belarus, where social tensions have multiplied following the contested election of the President (who obtained officially 80% of the votes on August 9). Linked week after week are the protests and arrests.

From the 11th to the 14th of last September, Monsignor Paul Richard Gallagher, Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, was in Belarus for a visit of a diplomatic and ecumenical tone. At that time, he expressed Pope Francis’ concern. His stay also had as backdrop the interdiction imposed by the Belarusan Authorities on the Archbishop of Minsk, Monsignor Kondrusiewicz — in Poland since August 31 — to return to Belarus.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester

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