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Prague Archbishop Duka turns 75, sends resignation letter

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Prague, April 26 (CTK) – Prague Archbishop Cardinal Dominik Duka turns 75 years on Thursday and based on the canon law, he submitted his resignation to Pope Francis, Prague Archbishopric spokesman Stanislav Zeman has told journalists.

The Pope may accept the resignation, but he may also prolong Duka’s term of office.

“A courier of the archbishopric office has delivered Cardinal Dominik Duka’s letter of resignation to the apostolic nunciature,” Zeman said.

The Pope may announce his decision on the occasion of some religious holiday.

Duka has not said whether he wanted to leave or remain in the post. Zeman has said Duka would humbly accept both options. However, he was not making any fundamental decisions and strategic changes lately.

Duka has said in interviews that he considers many things that he was in charge of finished, while others he would like to complete, such as installing a new organ in the St Vitus Cathedral, which could be done within one year.

Duka is sometimes criticised by the younger church-goers for being too supportive of some politicians. He was close to former President Vaclav Klaus and he is known to have good relations with President Milos Zeman, whom he congratulated on his re-election in January.

In response to protests of some Christian activists in March calling in a petition on the Pope to appoint someone else instead of Duka, President Zeman wrote a letter to Pope Francis asking him to prolong Duka’s mandate.

The activists were critical of Duka’s alleged leaning towards nationalism and the ultra right.

On the contrary, several Czech politicians and the Confederation of Political Prisoners backed Duka.

Another petition, in support of Duka, with 3,000 signatures, was handed to him last Sunday after the mass he served in the St Vitus Cathedral on the occasion of the repatriation of the remains of Cardinal Josef Beran (1888-1969), former Prague archbishop and political prisoner, whose body returned to the country from the Vatican almost 50 years after his death.

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