RUSSIA Mgr. Kondrusiewicz returns to Minsk and celebrates Christmas mass in the cathedral
After 4 months of forced exile, the Metropolitan of Minsk returned to his native country. Following a press conference, he celebrated Christmas mass in the cathedral. After crossing the border, he knelt down and kissed the Belarusian land. Thank you to Pope Francis and to the nuncio Mgr. Ante Jozic for his return. Religious freedom in Russia after three generations of atheism is a responsibility.
Moscow (AsiaNews) – The Catholic Church in Belarus celebrates the return of its metropolitan, Mgr. Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, forced into exile for 4 months, far from his homeland and his flock. The archbishop was accused of plotting with foreign forces against the government of his country.
He was able to cross the border on the morning of December 24. In the afternoon, on his arrival in Minsk, he held a press conference for journalists in the Cathedral of the Most Holy Name of Mary (photo 2). Archbishop Kondrusievic said that after crossing the border he asked the driver to stop, got out of the car and on his knees, thanked God for his return, kissing the earth. In a voice broken by tears, the prelate added: “This is my land! I grew up here! I have never said anything against Belarus, I have always defended its interests, and I will do so again in the future ”.
The Metropolitan explained the reasons for his visit to Poland, for which he was accused by President Lukashenko of “having gone to take orders”. “It’s no secret, I went there for the first communion of the children of a relative, which was scheduled for May, but had been postponed due to the pandemic. I took the opportunity to be examined by the doctors, since last year. I had a very complex operation to stabilize my spine. They told me to come for exams every now and then, now I’m fine after this operation. “
During the months in Poland, the Archbishop read reports about the situation at home, but – he clarified, “the pastor must stay with his family, although today, thanks to modern means of communication, he is very much easier to stay in touch He was able to organize retreats and conferences via the Internet, seen by over 40,000 people, “a huge number of people, who are difficult to bring together live”.
His return to the country was made possible by the negotiations between the nunciature and the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, and the Archbishop expressed his gratitude to all who contributed to the success.
On the evening of December 24, the metropolitan celebrated a solemn mass in the cathedral (photo 1). The celebration took place in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio in Belarus, Mgr Ante Jozic, and of the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Minsk-Mogilev, Mgr Jurij Kosobutskij. The mass was also broadcast online, to more than 4,000 spectators. The Archbishop thanked Pope Francis, represented by the Apostolic Nuncio, for the miracle of his return.
In his homily, Bishop Kondrusiewicz focused on the exaltation of the place of Jesus Christ in human hearts. “The unexpected challenges that have hit the world and our country have shown both the fragility of the modern world order and its vulnerability, and the spiritual problems of modern man,” said the Metropolitan.
“Man did not entrust himself to God, but to himself, to his intellect, to the development of science, technology and culture. The epidemic proved that it was too little, because the microscopic size of the virus began to challenge the power of this virus. world and bring them to their knees. The coronavirus has changed the normal way of life of the modern world, and made us think about the place of God and man in our life and in human history “.
“The difficult socio-political situation in our country, which has become a new challenge, also calls us to pay more attention to God and to the observance of the law of God,” added the Archbishop, “to which Our homeland would be different and our lives would be different if we lived according to the law of love for God and neighbor! If only we could forgive ourselves! If only, by being different, we were united for the sake of the common good! from Mary to God changed the history of the world, as she brought the Savior, whose Nativity we are celebrating today.What would be our history if we were in agreement with the will of God, if we gave him our “Yes” !”
Kondrusiewicz recalled that “the doors of the former Soviet Union, where militant atheism reigned for three generations, have opened to Christ. We have freedom, including religious freedom. Unfortunately, we forgot too soon that freedom is not only a gift, but also a responsibility. Suddenly, we were enchanted by the golden calf of material prosperity, pleasures and unbridled freedom without moral responsibility, and we began to worship it … So let’s open our door, dear brothers and sisters, to Jesus, who was born to inaugurate the ministry of the Church, and that he visits us “.