P. dr. Mircea Remus Birtz; Dr. Manfred Kierein Kuenring – „Voices from Ecclesia Militans from Czekoslovakia” (1948-1989)
This booklet is a short introduction on the struggle of the Catholic Church from the former Czechoslovakia, between the sorrowful years 1948-1989. We presented some letters, some documents of the Holy see, and some photos. Sure, depending most on foreign languages sources, our work has imperfections and mistakes. We are apologysing for that.
We express also our gratitude to Their Excell. Archbp. Gyoergy Jakubinyi, Archbp. Jean Claude Perisset, Bp. Bartolomej Urbanec, Bp. Oliver Oravec, Bp. Jan Blaha and Bp. Dusan Spiner for their encouragements or observations.
His. Excell. Bp. Jan Blaha observed that he was not a co-consecrator of Bp. Spiner, nor was Bp. Krpalek one. However, being co-consecratos is one thing, being present at the consecration is another thing (this was stated by DDrr. Fiala-Hanus book, too, according to a testimony done by Bp. Spiner in presence of Bp. Blaha). They were present there (Bp. Krpalek accompanied Bp. Spiner ath the consecration place), and, according to a custom during the persecution, each from the assisstants imposed his hands upon the head of the newly to be consecrated candidate. This applied also to priestly ordinations. It was not only a rite with theological significance (the newly ordained being a gift to the Lord from the part of the faithful) but also with practical significance. When the StB could discover the consecration, each imposing his hands on the receiver, the real consecrator was covered. However, Bp. Felix Maria Davidek used the Tridentine Pontificale Romanum until the end of the years ’80 of the XX-th Cent. The new Pontificale Romanum acording to the Novus Ordo Missae was later translated in Czech, and a Slovak traduction (availalble more earlier) was not enjoyed in Moravia for its literary style. So the bishops consecrated by Dr. Felix Maria Davidek are genuine bishops even according to the strict ritual prospective (absolute tutiorism). And Davidek was very attentive when performing consecrations!
We don’t want to generate sterile polemics. But sure we are interrested in precise facts, and here each contribution is useful. Despite the different theological orientations, we tried to present each position correctly, with its own arguments. And of course we can understand that not all the groups presented here are perfectly synchronised.
For us, The Catholic Church from the former Czechoslovakian Republic gave precious lessons not only for the past, but for future also. And to avoid the loose of memory of the first line Gospel front militants, it’s a duty of honour.
Who desires to receive the book, can contact H.Exc. Hofrat Dr. Manfred Kierein, OBSS at the following post adress: Dr. Manfred Kierein, Postfach 1, A-1016 Wien, Austria.
P. dr. Mircea Remus Birtz