Ambassador of Poland: For Polish Priests Working In Belarus Is Harder Than In Africa

    The ambassador of Poland to Belarus Leszek Szerepka thinks that the commissioner for religion and nationalities of Belarus Leanid Hulyaka’s  insinuations (about the priests of a Polish citizenship being involved in politics) form a very serious  reproach.

    Besides, the history of Belarusian Catholic Church is closely connected with Polish Polish Catholic Church. In the early 1990s Bealrusain Catholic Church faced a decline. At that serious moment Poland lent a hand of help. According to svaboda.org, Leszek Szerepka states that he remembers funds for reconstruction of Belarusian churches been raised  in Poland as well.

    “It was a sincere help to Belarusian fellow church. And what do we have instead of gratitude? Recurring words of reproach, imposing of unclear rules of play. I can not remember any words of gratitude”, – notes the diplomat.

    The ambassador stressed that it is difficult to find a priest nowadays, during the crisis of faith. And Polish priests serve not only in Belarus but all over the world. “We hear often from Belarusian authorities that they support a religious renaissance in the country. But the Polish priests are involved in the real process of restoration and deserve some gratitude. Polish priests think that working in Belarus is harder than in Africa. When a priest comes to build a church he is given a 3- or 6-month permission to stay. What can he possibly manage to build in these terms?” – asks the ambassador.

    The ambassador mentioned that he supports the efforts of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in Belarus in settling all disputable matters between Catholic church and the authorities. He supposes that many misunderstandings could have been avoided with signing a concordate between Belarus and Vatican. This document sets the spheres of responsibility between the state and the church. Vatican has been struggling for this document for a long time, said Szerepka.

    “Recently, Polish authorites, Polish diplomatic mission in Belarus and Belarusian government have made a lot to establish good relations between Poland and Belarus. It took a lot of effort, that is why we do not fully understand Mr. Hulyka’s statement, that does not fit in this process. It would be interesting to know whether Mr. Hulyaka has the evidence for his reproaches addressed to Polish priests”.