According to the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Washington uses the most unscrupulous methods to sway the political situation in Belarus and to create a conflict between Orthodox and Catholics in the country.
“According to reports, the U.S.A. is also unceremoniously interfering in the religious situation in Belarus, seeking to cause a conflict between representatives of the Orthodox and Catholic branches of Christianity,” Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergei Narishkin writes in a statement published on the Service’s official site yesterday.
“Trying to draw the Vatican, which is still showing restraint, into the Belarusian events, the Americans are working to more actively involve Catholic priests in anti-government protests. The clergy of the Roman Catholic church are encouraged to openly criticize the Belarusian authorities and use religious events, including sermons, prayer services, and processions, to conduct oppositional political propaganda among the faithful,” Narishkin explains, though such accusations have been denied by an official representative of the Catholic church in Belarus.
According to America’s thinking, this should force Minsk to take tough retaliatory measures against the Catholic church, he continues.
Working with the Belarusian opposition, the U.S. State Department “has launched efforts to connect extremist elements to the protests. ‘Fighters for a Renewed Belarus’ are trained in Poland, Georgia, Ukraine, and the Baltic States with the participation of instructors from the CIA and the Pentagon and American NGOs affiliated with the State Department,” he adds.
He also reports that the Foreign Intelligence Service has information that extremists hiding abroad are planning a provocation “during which one of the most authoritative clerics of the Roman Catholic church would be arrested, or even wounded or killed.”
“The expectation is that this will significantly increase anti-government sentiment among Catholics and encourage them to participate more actively in street protests,” the Director explains.
However, Bishop Yuri Kosobutsky, the Vicar General of the Minsk-Mogilev Archdiocese and head of the media department of the Catholic church in Belarus believes such accusations are “fake” and “absurd,” reports Catholic.by.
“This is a lie that has nothing to do with the truth… This is information that should be treated with a degree of irony,” Kosobutsky said during a homily today at the Catholic cathedral in Minsk.
He later commented that Catholic clergy in Belarus “do not receive any instructions from anyone, not just of a political nature…. Regarding the United States of America, this sounds completely unrealistic.”
The Catholic church calls people to unity, peace, and forgiveness, today, the Catholic bishop said, and “maybe someone is trying to use this situation to divide people on the basis of religion, to accuse us of what we are trying to avoid by praying to God for peace and harmony in our society. But we do not give in to such brainwashing and remain faithful to the commandments of love that Christ left us.”
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