By Kostas Onisenko
The Belarusian Orthodox Church has relieved the Archbishop, who has criticized the Lukashenko regime and urged the Church not to remain indifferent to the election fraud in the country, of his duties.
Archbishop Artemy of Grodno and Vawkavysk was relieved of his duties stating “health reasons.”
“Regarding the report of the Exarch of all Belarus, Metropolitan Beniamin of Minsk and Zaslavsky, in relation to the decision on June 8, 2021, at the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Exarchate of Belarus by the decision of the Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod, the members of the Holy Synod judged for the departure of Archbishop Artemy of Grodno and Vawkavysk for health reasons and for the appointment of Bishop Anthony of Slutsk and Soligorsk,” as stated by the Belarusian Orthodox Church.
Despite the fact that the removal is officially related to “health reasons,” some sources, including the Russian agency Interfax, associate this decision with the political stance of the hierarch, which is different from the official stance of the Belarusian Orthodox Church.
It is recalled that Metropolitan Beniamin not only did not criticize the regime of Alexander Lukashenko for election fraud and widespread violence against the citizens of Belarus but also a few days ago signed a cooperation agreement with the Interior Ministry.