Saturday, 19 April 2014

Czech Catholic church invites foreign priests to fill vacancies

ČTK |
24 August 2012

Prague, Aug 23 (CTK) - The Czech Roman Catholic Church has been inviting priests from abroad since it does not have enough of them and most of the foreign priests come to the Czech Republic from Poland, according to CTK's information.

In the 1990s, former Prague Archbishop Miloslav Vlk called on the Polish Catholic Church to send clerics to missions also in the Czech Republic. Vlk then recalled 10th century Prague bishop Vojtech, also known as St Adalbert, who was a missionary among the Poles.

The similarity of the Czech and Polish languages is advantageous in this respect, too.

However, Polish priest Michal Bator based in the parish of Kralupy nad Vltavou near Prague, said it was very hard to understand in the beginning.

Probably the most popular Polish priest is Zbigniew Czendlik, thanks to his friendly relations to Czech celebrities.

Compared to Poland, the Czech Republic and especially some parts of Bohemia are more secular.

Priests from countries like South Korea or Vietnam focus on their Christian compatriots living in the Czech Republic and they serve masses in their mother tongue for them.

Prague Archbishopric spokesman Ales Pistora said foreign monks come to the country to help develop their religious orders here.

In the Prague Archdiocese there are 60 foreign priests: 36 from Poland and 10 from Slovakia, three Spaniards and three Italians, two Americans and two Germans, and one priest came from France, Kosovo, South Korea and Vietnam.

The Plzen diocese in western Bohemia has about a hundred of priests, including 16 Poles, nine Slovaks and two Italians.

The foreign priests do missionary work in the diocese and they compensate the lack of Czech priests, the diocese spokeswoman Alena Ourednikova said.

The first Polish priests arrived shortly after the Plzen diocese was established in 1993, she said.

In The Olomouc archdiocese in northern Moravia, 61 priests, three nuns and two monks from abroad are operating. A vast majority of them are Poles (41) and most of the other are Slovaks (21). The remaining four are from Romania, Russia, Uzbekistan and Vietnam, one from each country.

The Ceske Budejovice in southern Bohemia employs 29 foreign clerics from Poland, Slovakia and the neighbouring Austria.

Out of 369 clerics registered in the Brno diocese in southern Moravia 26 come from abroad, mostly from Poland.

Fifteen of the foreign clerics are monks who have been sent by their religious order and the remaining nine clerics accepted an invitation of the Brno bishop to serve here or they were interested in working here on their own, said Martina Jandova, from the Brno Bishopric.

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