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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Catholic Priest Asked to Leave Russia

Passport officials in the northwestern city of Pushkin have refused to renew a residence permit for a Roman Catholic priest who had been working in Russia for 10 years, church officials said Monday.

The officials told Father Bronislaw Czaplicki, a Polish citizen, to leave the country in two weeks, the Reverend Igor Kovalevsky, head of the confederation of Catholic priests in Russia, told Gazeta.ru on Monday. Pushkin is in the Leningrad region.

The officials have offered no explanation for denying Czaplicki a residency permit, Kovalevsky said.

Kovalevsky warned against labeling the incident as a deportation.

"Father Bronislaw will just have to return to his homeland, get another Russian visa and come back," he was quoted by Gazeta.ru as saying.

The denial of a residency permit for Czaplicki is the sixth instance in the past year that a foreign-born Catholic priest has been stopped from visiting or staying in Russia.