VITEBSK, 4 April (BelTA) – Vatican appreciates peaceful coexistence of different religions in Belarus, Apostolic Nuncio of Belarus Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti told a press conference in the Catholic Cathedral Church of Jesus the Merciful in Vitebsk on 4 April, BelTA learnt.
According to him, the ability of Belarusians to accept people practicing different religions and avoid religious conflicts deserves respect and recognition. “My service has showed that this happens pretty rarely. I am very happy to see good relations between Catholic, Orthodox believers and representatives of other religions in your country,” the Apostolic Nuncio underlined. To illustrate his point, he mentioned the recent meeting with the Orthodox clergy of Vitebsk Oblast, which had a most positive impression on him.
“Both the Holy See and I appreciate peaceful coexistence of different religions in Belarus,” the diplomat said. This is in many ways attributed to the efforts of the government, local authorities and other parties.
Claudio Gugerotti shared his impressions of Belarus with journalists. “I feel like home here, I see calm and European culture. Unfortunately, in fact Europe knows little about Belarus. This is a big drawback in European cultural education. It is even more saddening taking into consideration the existing problems,” he said.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti Apostolic Nuncio in Belarus on 16 July. Earlier Claudio Gugerotti held the post of apostolic nuncio in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. This post is diplomatic. Nuncio is a diplomatic representative of the Pope in a country with which the Vatican has diplomatic relations.
Claudio Gugerotti is in Vitebsk on a two-day visit. He had already met with local authorities, representatives of the Orthodox clergy, visited the House-Museum of Marc Chagall. On 4 April he will take part in the festival pre-Easter service in the Catholic Cathedral Church of Jesus the Merciful.