VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis on Sunday accepted the resignation of Minsk’ archbishop who had been blocked for months by Belarusian authorities from returning to his homeland after criticizing a crackdown on anti-government protesters there.
Monsignor Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, answerable for the Minsk-Mohilev diocese, had solely returned to Belarus on Dec. 24, simply in time to have fun Christmas Mass. That was almost 4 months after he was blocked entry whereas touring again from a spiritual go to to Poland. The deadlock ended final month after Francis despatched a former Vatican ambassador to Belarus to Minsk to satisfy with the nation’s authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.
Church guidelines require bishops to submit their resignation forward of their seventy fifth birthday, and the Vatican stated Kondrusiewicz, who turned 75 on Sunday, had finished so. The pope instantly allowed him to step down. Typically popes permit bishops to remain on for months, even years, after turning 75.
The day after Kondrusiewicz had tried to return to Belarus, Lukashenko accused him of “delving into politics and dragging believers” into it. Weeks of large protests had seen Belarus residents flood into the streets in day by day protests demand Lukashenko’s resignation.
The president’s victory after an Aug. 9 election was extensively seen as fraudulent. Protests have continued in defiance of a brutal police crackdown that has detained greater than 30,000 demonstrators.
Francis named an apostolic administrator to go the archdiocese for now, Monsignor Kazimierz Wielikosielec, who has been serving as an auxiliary bishop within the Pinsk diocese.
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