Hulyaka: Catholic Priests in Belarus are Engaged in Politics
According to Leanid Hulyaka, the Commissioner for Religions and Nationalities, some Catholic priests sent from Poland are engaged in politics. “They do not like our country, our law, our authorities. In that case we are not going to prolong their living permits”.
He mentioned, that about 430 priests have ministry in Belarus, 113 of them are foreigners, mainly from Poland. At the same time, there are only 27 students at Hrodna seminary and 19 at Pinsk one. “In 2014 only 2 and 3 students respectively entered the seminary. It seems that the Catholic Church is not interested in its human resources”, – gives BelTA the words of the official.
Leanid Hulyaka stated that in 2014 some Catholic priests whose ministry in Belarus had been affirmed did not arrived the country in due terms did not registered at the local Internal Affairs departments and some of them spend most of their time abroad. Also the Commissioner accused the foreign priests of giving liturgies outside the regions where they were allowed to. He also mentioned that the foreign priests are not always in a good command of Russian or Belarusian language.
Also, the official accused the Ploish priests of minor offences, such as driving while intoxicated.
He also criticized the Catholic Church for an unseccessful, according to his words, attempt of creating the Academy of Theology. “The state supports the idea. But when it is stated in the plans that the Academy will cover the are of 50 square meters – it is not even funny. And I am not even talking about he fact that according to the Academy charter its students have to live on its premises”.
Leanid Hulyaka also mentioned the violations made by the foreign Orthodox priests. Thus, in Homel district the priests from Ukraine are serving without a permission. They have a living permit, but this document does not provide them with the right to serve, because they need a special permission from the Commissioner.
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