An Italian Catholic priest, who had been working in Russia for the past 12 years, was deprived of his visa last week. So far, the authorities have given no explanations.
Father Stefano Caprio, 42, correspondent of the Fides missionary agency of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, had been working as a parish priest and university professor in Russia since 1989. He traveled to Italy last Friday to see his parents, and was due to return to Moscow on Tuesday.
The news was confirmed by Father Igor Kovalevski, spokesman of the Catholic Archdiocese of Moscow. Diplomatic sources revealed that the Italian Embassy and the Vaticanīs nunciature in Moscow have asked for an explanation.
"In fact, they have expelled me, but this is an illegal act," Father Caprio told the Italian newspaper Avvenire.