Wednesday, December 1, 2021

    ROC’s Belarusian Exarchate fires priest who opposed violence by authorities

    Significant personnel shifts came to the main Orthodox church in the Belarusian city of Grodno: the leadership of the Grodno eparchy of the Belarusian exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church dismissed Archpriest Georgy Roy from the post of the Intercession Cathedral’s rector.

    “Indeed, Father Anatoliy (Nenartovych) is no longer the secretary, Georgy Roy is no longer the rector of the cathedral,” deacon Dmitry Pavlyukevich, the diocese’s press secretary, told journalists, according to Charter’97%.

    Archpriest Georgy Roy openly spoke up against government violence against protesters in August last year. On the eve of the presidential election, he had addressed parishioners, urging them not to engage with the lie, wherever it manifested itself.

    Also, the priest invited the faithful to a sincere prayer for Belarus and preservation of peace in the country, as well as for the issues to be resolved through dialogue, not terror.

    After the election, Archpriest Georgy Roy wrote on Facebook that the bell would ring in the cathedral every hour that day as a sign of a call for peace, an end to unjustified violence, torture, and provocation, and as a sign of solidarity with the innocent detainees, sympathy for the wounded, and support for loved ones.

    It remains unclear where Archpriest Georgy Roy will further serve. It is believed he may be sent to a church in the village of Kvasovka near the town of Grodno.

    Charter’97% recalls that in early June 2021, allegedly due to health concerns, Archbishop Artemiy (Kishchenko) of Grodno and Volkovysk was dismissed. He also openly opposed unjustified violence against activists exerted by Belarusian security forces.

    In turn, it should be reminded that in September last year, Archpriest George Roy attended a service at the Catholic Parish Church. At that time, Belarusian Catholics prayed for the return of Catholic Metropolitan Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz to Belarus as soon as possible. The Orthodox priest joined the prayer and expressed words of support and solidarity with the Catholics.