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Russia cancels another Catholic priest's visa

Russia has revoked the visa of yet another foreign-born priest, in the wake of the earlier withdrawal of visas for a bishop and an Italian missionary priest.

The latest case involves Fr Stanislav Krajnak, a Slovak, who has worked for the past two years in the town of Yaroslavl, 280 kilometres northeast of Moscow, according to the British-based Keston Institute.

The action early this month followed the revocation of visas for Catholic Bishop Jerzy Mazur and Italian Fr Stefano Caprio.

Still serving in his parish, Fr Krajnak must leave Russia by the end this month, when his current visa expires.

The secretary of the Russian Catholic Bishops' Conference, Fr Igor Kovalevsky, told Keston News Service that the Foreign Ministry, as in previous cases, has given no explanation for the visa denial.

The Holy See's mission in Russia is making diplomatic efforts to have the denial overturned, officials said.

Fr Kovalevsky said that earlier this year Fr Krajnak was refused a visa to Kazakhstan. Fr Krajnak wanted to travel home to Slovakia by train through Belarus after his visa expires, but was refused a Belorussian transit visa.

"This leads us to think that Fr Stanislav is on the notorious blacklist of Catholic priests that they are trying to drive out of Russia," said Fr Kovalevsky.

Keston Institute | Another Catholic Priest and Now Protestants Also Denied Visas
Catholic Russia


20 Aug 2002