Cardinal Świątek passed away at the age of 96, in a hospital where he was treated since March 10th. His funeral will be held in a cathedral in Pinsk on July 25th.
Kazimierz Świątek was born on October 14th, 1914 in Valga, Estonia. When he was three-year-old, his family was sent to Siberia. Later he moved to Pinsk, where he completed a seminary and became a priest, working in parish of Pruzany since 1939. Świątek was a victim to notorious repressions of the Soviet authorities. He was arrested and sentenced to death for espionage, but the war chaos in 1941 saved him from being executed. Arrested again in 1944, Świątek was sentenced to 10 years in Syberia. He returned to Pinsk in 1954, where thanks to his commitment, a cathedral was renovated.
The end of 80s and beginning of 90s brought religious freedom. Pope John Paul II appointed him to the post of Archbishop of Minsk-Mahiloŭ and Apostolic Administrator of Pinsk. In 1994, Świątek received cardinal title. In 2004, the pope awarded him with the Paul IV Institute’s prize „Fidei testis“.