English Summary 3/2014 – 25 Years of Freedom

Jaroslav Šebek
Some Remarks on Church Reflection on Twenty-Five Years of Post-Communist Freedom
The historian engaged in the present-day Church history begins this issue of Salve with a sketch of historical background in which the free country and restoring Church were influencing each other. The author reminds increase of prestige of the Church in the second half of the 80s, culminating in the canonization of St. Agnes of Bohemia. He considers a certain crisis of the Church in the 90’s, when revealed false expectations both on the part of the Church and the society, and an underestimation of the real situation in post-communist Czech society in the field of spiritual life and the demand for its supply. The author puts into the broader context the phenomenon of the return of the churches’ property and its (negative) presentment in society. Among the positive moments of the relationship between Church and society the author names e. g. the visit of Benedict XVI in 2009. He also discusses the twists and turns around the feast of St. Wenceslas and St. Wenceslas’ tradition in the free country, and the issue of incorporation the tradition of Sts. Cyril and Methodius.

Tomáš Halík
Reconciling the PastAttempt to Reflect and Personal Memories
The text of Tomáš Halík opens a number of topics related to the phenomenon of dealing with the past in general where the Church should become a teacher par excellence, both in the principle of self-reflection and the one of forgiveness. In the context of personal memories the author commemorates personalities and projects which in this context played an important and inspirational role in a free country.

Daniel Kroupa
Christian Principles in Czech Politics after 1989
The former Member of Parliament, Senator, and Chairman of the ODA recalls the origins of the debate about the integration of Christianity and active politics in dissident circles just before the fall of the communist regime. Kroupa specifies three main possible routes: to launch a party, which will consist mainly of Christians; to create a party that will promote the program corresponding with Christian principles and at the same time will be acceptable for many unbelievers; to disperse Christians to various political parties, and try to promote Christian principles within them. The author outlines the Christian principles which were present in the time of transformation of the country. In conclusion he deals with the issues of the role of Christianity in struggle with negative phenomena of the liberal society.

Tomáš Machula
Theological Faculties after a Quarter Century of Freedom
The current Dean of the Faculty of Theology in České Budějovice considers the presence of theology at the universities, where it returned after 1989. He states the positives of the fact that theology didn’t withdraw into special religious schools, but remains a part of the “secular” universities. The author then deals with the presence of non-theological courses in faculties of theology, which he doesn’t understand as a necessary evil, but as a step alongside the logic of Aquinas’s teaching that theology is treating also all the things having relation to God as to their origin and goal (ST I, q. 1, a. 7). Finally, he analyzes paradoxical insufficiency of spiritual care about students of theological faculties.

Miloslav Vlk
Steps towards Reconciliation between Czechs and Germans
The Cardinal Emeritus of Prague recalls the importance of the Church for Czech-German settlement, and in particular the exchange of letters between the Czech Bishops’ Conference and the German one in 1990, where the both sides admitted their guilt on injustices and atrocities against the other nation, and both begged for forgiveness. Edition of these letters are part of the article.

Pavel Černý
Walking the Ecumenical PathSuccesses and Pitfalls of Ecumenical Dialogue and Cooperation in Bohemia
The Czech Brother and the Chairman Emeritus of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in his text briefly charts the history of ecumenical efforts after 1989. He reminds difficult beginnings, how during the communism the ecumenical dialogue functioned rather informally in an environment of the hidden church. The author speaks about the formation of the Ecumenical Council of Churches, about the joint Christian projects in the media, about the spiritual service in the Army of the Czech Republic, about the prison pastoral care, hospital chaplains, or spiritual care to the police. Common dialogue is happening at the level of ethical issues, in the context of the joint prayer weeks, etc. A touchstone of the cohesion of Czech ecumenical effort was according to the author e. g. the deliberations on of the church property restitution.

Benedikt Mohelník OP
The Prophetic Spirit Must Not Cease Winding Road of the Dominican Friars through the Quarter Century of Freedom
The current Provincial of the Czech Dominicans in his balancing text walks through the history of the renewed order in the situation of a free country, and identifies the problems and successes with which the order was to confront. He focuses on the problems associated with the restoration of the communities with the community life, on the seeking of ways in the field of formation and education, on the problems associated with the church property restitution; the Provincial outlines successful projects of mission character and entering the field of media and education. He highlights the importance of cultivating the Dominican charisma as a key feature of identity that makes possible to lead the Dominican way of life even in modern free country.

Lights and Shadows
The revue Salve approached prominent figures of the Church – both priests and laity (K. Bendová, F. X. Halas, J. Hanuš, T. Holub, B. Kubáčková, V. Malý, A. Opatrný, J. Pleskot, A. Randa, J. Regner, J. Royt, G. I. Vlková) – with the question: During the last 25 years in the Czech Church – what are you proud of and, in the contrary, what are you sorry about?

Dominik Duka OP
Epilogue the Roots of the Liberation of the Church
The Prague archbishop in this concluding text of the issue Salve devoted to 25 years of freedom reminds the roots – a variety of personalities who enabled to advance renewal of the Church in the country. This epilogue comprises the publication of several important texts from the last period of persecution: Letter of religious to Cardinal František Tomášek (1977), Memorandum on the situation of religious orders in Czechoslovakia (1977), Václav Benda: What to do after Velehrad (excerpt, 1985), The 31-point petition by Augustin Navrátil (1987), The appeal of Father Cardinal František Tomášek to the all people of Czechoslovakia (1989).