Bishops from Former Soviet State of Belarus Visit the Vatican

Source: FSSPX News

Pope Francis with the Belarusian Episcopal Delegation on February 1

The nine bishops of Belarus made their Ad limina visit - the regular meeting each bishop has with the Holy Father every five years - to the Vatican on February 1, 2018.

It was an opportunity for the bishops of this predominantly Orthodox country to voice their hopes of a visit from the pope to Belarus, which has never yet received a papal visit.

As of 2018, Belarus has about 500 priests, 90 of whom are foreigners. Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, archbishop of Minsk and president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Belarus, described the difficulties he has obtaining residency cards for his priests, and the problems with building Catholic churches.

According to the Statistical Yearbook of the Church, Catholics represent 14% of this country’s population of 10 million, and the Orthodox represent 48%. Subdivided into four dioceses (Minsk-Mohilev, Hrodna, Pinsk, Vitebsk), Belarus has over 400 parishes.

Archbishop Kondrusiewicz added that the bishops of Belarus invited Pope Francis to visit their country. It would be impossible this year, Francis responded, but he did not refuse to consider possibly visiting at a later date.