A Belarusian bishop has called for prayers for seven Polish priests and five nuns who were denied visas for 2007 by Belarusian officials. A Polish priest also was arrested for celebrating Mass without permission in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. Bishop Aleksander Kaszkiewicz of Grodno asked the diocese's 170 parishes to pray for the clergy and to sign a petition of support. A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Grodno said it had appealed the visa decision to the government's committee for religious and minority affairs and was still awaiting an answer. The spokeswoman, who declined to be named, told Catholic News Service Oct. 10 that "the situation remains unclear." She said the diocese does not know "why this problem has suddenly arisen" and would not know until late December who would have to leave.