Cardinal Bertone to visit Belarus

Secretary of State of His Holiness the Pope Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone will visit for the first time Belarus at the invitation of the Belarusian government on June 18.

"State Secretary of Pope Benedict XVI Bertone will visit Belarus on June 18 - 22 at the invitation of the Belarusian government," Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Minsk and Mogilyov, told a news conference in Minsk on Thursday. The program of the visit provides for meetings with Belarusian authorities, as well as religious figures.

"The visit of Bertone will play an important role in the life of Catholics in Belarus. The cardinal is the second-ranking official at the Vatican and is very close to Pope Benedict XVI," Kondrusiewicz said.

The cardinal will also visit Minsk, Pinsk and Grodno. He will attend a meeting of the Conference of Catholic Archbishops of Belarus, visit the Caritas center, which helps children with cancer, and will take part in other events.