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30 Jan 2015

Belarusian foreign minister meets with Vatican ambassador

MINSK, 30 January (BelTA) – A meeting of Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei and Apostolic Nuncio to Belarus Claudio Gugerotti took place at premises of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry on 30 January upon the initiative of the Belarusian side, the Ministry’s press service told BelTA.

Claudio Gugerotti informed Vladimir Makei about certain concerns arising from recent statements regarding the Roman Catholic Church in Belarus. The Apostolic Nuncio emphasized that the Roman Catholic Church in Belarus does a lot of work on the whole and puts a lot of efforts into training Belarusian priests for the catholic church.

Vladimir Makei mentioned that the Belarusian side was interested in getting Belarusian priests for the Roman Catholic Church in Belarus. The Belarusian Foreign Minister welcomed the ongoing reduction of the number of foreigners among the Roman Catholic clergy and the appointment of three new bishops of Belarusian origin by the Pope in late 2013.

According to Vladimir Makei, the Belarusian head of state highly appreciates efforts of the Pope in fighting poverty and in promoting universal peace and stability. The Belarusian Foreign Minister confirmed that the view of the Belarus government on ensuring equality for all the traditional confessions in the country is unchanged. “For centuries Catholicism and Orthodoxy have peacefully coexisted in Belarus. The state policy is based on the belief that we promote peace and tranquility in the country. We highly appreciate the Holy See’s support for religious accord in the Belarusian society,” said the press service of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.

Vladimir Makei stressed that Vatican’s stance and practical efforts with regard to Belarus are very constructive and balanced. The Roman Catholic Church plays an important role in patriotic education and support for culture in Belarus.

Participants of the meeting also discussed matters concerning the fulfillment of the Belarus president’s instruction to build a catholic ecclesiastical academy in Minsk.

Vladimir Makei said that the Belarusian Foreign Ministry was ready to provide the venue for discussing possible issues with all the parties concerned for the sake of settling them through mutual respect and constructive cooperation.

The sides also discussed a number of Belarus-Vatican events planned for 2015.

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