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Belarus, Roman Catholic Church may ink cooperation agreement

25.04.2009 15:47

KOMARIN, April 25 (BelTA) – The signing of an agreement on cooperation between Belarus and the Roman Catholic Church will be discussed during a possible visit of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko to Vatican and his meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, the head of state told media in Komarin on April 25.

There are indeed plans for the visit to Vatican, said the President. “I think it can take place. We planned such a visit. If everything goes well, we will visit Vatican,” he said.

According to Alexander Lukashenko, the church plays an increasingly active role in the country's public life. “Catholic and Orthodox believers are the two main confessions in our country. A while ago I had an extensive conversation with Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill. We agreed about several matters which I will forward to the Pope if we meet,” said the President. “The Catholics insist that following the example of the Orthodox Church our government should sign a cooperation agreement with the Roman Catholic Church. I think we will prepare such an agreement and it might be discussed with the Pope. We have several issues the catholic church always reminds about. I know of them. We will discuss them with the Pope, too”.

The head of state added: “We will think about further top-level contacts with the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church”. Yet Alexander Lukashenko said several issues might be discussed with the Italy leadership if the visit takes place.

The President remarked the programme of the visit is still in the works.
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