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New Archbishop of Prague was prisoner of Communist regime

February 15, 2010

A Czech bishop who was jailed by the Communist regime and forced to spend 15 years as a factory worker has been named by Pope Benedict XVI to become the new Archbishop of Prague. Bishop Dominik Duka, who was ordained a Dominican priest in 1970, was barred from pastoral work by the government in 1975. He continued to function as an underground priest and theology teacher, and was eventually jailed for 2 years. In 1998 he was appointed Bishop of Hradce Kralove, his native diocese.

Archbishop-elect Duka will replace Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, who at the age of 77 is well beyond the normal retirement age. Cardinal Vlk had admitted to frustration at his inability to resolve disputes over the restitution of Church properties that were confiscated by the Communist regime, and to see the completion a new concordat between the Czech Republic and the Holy See.


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