The Vatican has approved the process of beatifying the former bishop of České Budějovice, Josef Hlouch, which is the first step on the path to sainthood. According to the current bishop of České Budějovice, Vlastimil Kročil, the beatification process could take around 18 years.
Josef Hlouch, who was born in 1902, was persecuted by the authorities for criticizing the Communist regime. In 1950, he was placed under house arrest and later forced out of his diocese. It was not until 1968 that he could return to his post.
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