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Opinions & Interviews

21 May 2016

Lukashenko: It is high time for the Pope of Rome to meet the Patriarch in Belarus

Lukashenko: It is high time for the Pope of Rome to meet the Patriarch in Belarus

VATICAN, 21 May (BelTA) – It is high time for the Pope of Rome to come to Belarus and meet with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church on the Belarusian soil, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said after his meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican on 21 May, BelTA has learned.

“I told the Pope that it is time for him to come to Belarus and meet with our people together with our Patriarch. I am convinced that there will be millions of people who would like to see this handshake not in an airport of the faraway Cuba, but on the land which is the center of Europe and which is, thanks God, is free from the cataclysms (and the Pope emphasized this too) that had shaken the post-Soviet countries and the states of Eastern Europe following the USSR collapse,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

“Everything is in God’s hands. With his blessing, the hierarchs of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches will meet on the Belarusian land. I think Muslims, Jews and representatives of other confessions will be invited too,” said the President.

In his words, many priests suggest paying the tribute to the memory of those killed in the First and Second World Wars as the most sacred reason for the meeting. The head of state also noted that this event could be timed to the construction of churches or chapels of various confessions, or their ground-breaking ceremonies. Alexander Lukashenko suggested the Trostenets Memorial, where thousands of peaceful residents of various nationalities and confessions were burned during the war, as the venue to the meeting.

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