Moscow archbishop protests threats to religious freedom
Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Moscow had lodged a formal protest against "a serious threat to freedom of religion" in Russia.
The archbishop's statement cited the government's refusal to intervene when Catholic churches are picketed, and anti-Catholic slogans chanted outside parish buildings, despite the Russian law that prohibits "public actions… offensive to the religious feelings of citizens in the vicinity of religious monuments."
He also pointed to a statement by a Russian Orthodox cleric, who said that Catholics should be granted no rights in Russia. Finally, the archbishop pointed to the revocation of a visa for a Catholic priest, Father Stefano Caprio, who served in parishes near Moscow.
The government's actions (and inaction), Archbishop Kondrusiewicz charged, "are not only discriminatory toward Catholic citizens of the Russian Federation but seriously contradict Russian law. "
17 Apr 2002