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Pope Francis will not visit Belarus in 2018

Pope Francis. Photo: Reuters

Pope Francis will not be able to visit Belarus in 2018. The schedule of his visit has already been prepared and our country is not on the list, Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicztold ONT. Belarusian bishops met with the pontiff in the Vatican on February 1 and invited him to visit our country, he said.

Kondrusiewicz: “The bishops invited the Pope to visit Belarus. However, it was impossible because the schedule for this year had already been prepared, the Pope replied. Yet, he would be very glad to visit Belarus. He has expressed a hope to get such an opportunity.”

The pontiff recalled that Alyaksandr Lukashenka had already invited him to visit Belarus, Kandrusevich said. The possibility of the Pope’s visit to our country has been discussed for a decade. Lukashenka met with Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. The Belarusian leader also suggested organizing a meeting of the Pope with the Patriarch of Moscow last year. Information about the pontiff’s plan to visit Lithuania in the autumn of 2018  appeared at the end of 2017. There was a hope that he could also visit Belarus. Yet, it will not happen. Furthermore, the Pope’s visit to Belarus has to be coordinated with the administration of the Russian Orthodox Church.