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Bishop Athanasius SchneiderSteve Jalsevac/LifeSite

KAZAKHSTAN, November 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — For the past several months, rumors have been swirling about why Astana Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider has been appearing via video instead of in person at conferences hosted by conservative and traditional Catholics.

Some Catholics have publicly speculated that he is being punished with a travel ban by the Holy See in an attempt to diminish his influence.

In comments to LifeSite today, His Excellency clarifies the situation.

“I am sad that such news is spreading,” Schneider said, in reference to an alleged travel ban. “I was asked on behalf of the Holy See to reduce the frequency of my travels outside my diocese, so that their duration will not exceed the limits indicated by Canon Law (i.e. 30 days). Therefore there is no travel ban.”

Canon 410, which regulates an auxiliary bishop’s travel, states the following:

Like the diocesan bishop, a coadjutator bishop and an auxiliary bishop are obliged to reside in the diocese.

Except for a brief time, they are not to be absent from it other than to fulfill some duty outside the diocese or for vacation, which is not to exceed one month.

The 57-year-old bishop who has served as auxiliary of Astana since 2011 is not under house arrest or restricted in what he can speak about.

In August, Bishop Schneider appeared via video at the Conference of Catholic Families in Dublin as well as at the Catholic Identity Conference in West Virginia last week.

Given Rome’s decision, it would seem that this method of communicating is likely what His Excellency will do for future conferences.

Schneider recently told LifeSite that the final document of the 2018 Vatican Youth Synod “abounds in expressions of sentimentalism,” and also demonstrates in key passages that senior hierarchy “used the young people” to further their own agenda.