Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček is set to visit the Vatican during a
Czech national pilgrimage to Roma on November 10 and 11. Mr. Petříček,
accompanied by a delegation of Senators, is due to meet with diplomatic
representatives of the Catholic church.
He is due to hold talks with will hold talks with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin and the Secretary or Relations with States, Paul Richard Gallagher.
The National Pilgrimage to Rome will mark the 30th anniversary of the canonization of Saint Agnes, the 13th century daughter of the King ad Queen of Bohemia.
The new pipe organ for St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague resounded for the first time on Monday in a workshop near Barcelona, in Spain, where the instrument is being built. The pipe organ was commissioned by the Catholic Church and part of its cost, estimated at 80 million crowns, was raised in a public collection.
Cardinal Dominik Duka is facing a criminal investigation, after being accused of covering up a case of sexual abuse in the Dominican Order. The victim, who remains anonymous, told the news site seznam.cz earlier this week that he reported the abuse to Mr.Duka but the cardinal had failed to take action against it.
600 years ago, an angry crowd stormed Prague’s New Town Hall and threw its councillors out of the window. The event, which has since become known as the First Defenestration of Prague on is often seen as the starting point of the Hussite Wars. A brutal religous conflict which saw Bohemia ravaged by civil war, but also created many of the nation’s most remembered victories and characters, which are remembered today in monuments, art and film. To better understand the role of the defenestration and how it came to be, I spoke with Dr. Pavel Soukup,
In a wide-ranging interview at the start of Holy Week, leading up to Easter, the Roman Catholic priest Tomáš Petráček – a leading church and social historian – talks about the pagan, Slavic, communist and Hapsburg influences on the position of the church in Czech society over the centuries, and why, in his mind, painting eggs and pre-Christian fertility rites have a welcome place at Easter alongside the liturgy.
Pope Francis received the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Radek
Vondráček in the Vatican on Friday. Mr. Vondráček travelled to the
Vatican together with his Slovak counterpart Andrej Danko on the
anniversary of the death of St. Cyril, one of the two missionaries that
brought Christianity to the Slavs. The Pope and Mr. Vondráček discussed a
treaty between the Czech Republic and the Vatican, which, among other
things, sets out the position of the Catholic Church within the Czech
Mr. Vondráček also took the opportunity to invite the head of the Catholic Church to visit the Czech Republic.
Czech Cardinal Dominik Duka has issued a criminal complaint against
perpetrators of sex abuse within the Czech Catholic Church whose acts were
documented in an investigative report on Czech Television’s programme
According to a spokesman, Cardinal Duka also wants to appeal to members of Parliament to draft an amendment to the criminal code that would make reporting rape and sexual abuse of minors compulsory.
Last week he and 100 other senior Catholic bishops attended a special summit in Rome focused on sexual abuse within the clergy. According to Cardinal Duka, the Czech Catholic Church currently registers roughly one case of alleged abuse every three years. However, most perpetrators receive a suspended sentence due to a lack of evidence.
The Czech priest and theologian Tomáš Halík met with Pope Francis at the
Vatican on Wednesday and presented him with a letter praising the Pope for
his efforts to reform the Catholic Church and urging the establishment of a
clear future vision.
The letter has been supported by nearly 75,000 signatories including 2,500 theology professors and public figures from across the world. Mr. Halík told the news server aktualne.cz that opinions on the current role of the Catholic Church were gathered from all signatories and are now being published in multiple languages, including Czech. He also said that an intercontinental network of theologians ready to devise and implement reform impulses has been established.
The 71-year-old Templeton Prize winner has been actively involved in theological doctrine within the Catholic Church since the 1990s.
Pope Francis this month publicly acknowledged the scandal of priests and bishops sexually abusing nuns and has vowed to do more to fight the problem. The issue came to the fore amid the Catholic Church’s overall reckoning with the sexual abuse of minors. Here in the Czech Republic, Cardinal Dominik Duka – who in the past has characterized such scandals as attacks on the church – has now agreed under pressure to meet some of the victims face to face.