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Czech News in English » Opinion » The Czech Republic after the pope

The Czech Republic after the pope

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The hustle around Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the Czech Republic did not match with the constantly repeated notion that the Holy Father was coming to Europe’s most atheist country.

Television broadcast and admiring texts on the front pages of newspapers that usually do not risk losing their readers’ interest showed that the pope definitely did not come only because of the 2.7 million Czech Catholics.

The Czech Republic was welcoming the pope and a celebrity in one, who gave us a hallmark of importance for at least a while. But that’s not what this was about. What’s more important is what will be left of the visit after the enchantment from the captivating moment of meeting Benedict ebbs away. What will be left for the Czech Republic, his Catholic Church and believers.

Did Benedict XVI say anything that would outlive the horizon of the morning news? Anything generally applicable to all those who are looking for a path to God, no matter what that path is? No idea. He called on Czechs to look for a way to the Catholic creed, but one can guess that a mere appeal from the pontiff, no matter how triumphantly served, will not suffice. The Catholic Church in the Czech Republic is acting as if it did not have to convince anybody. It has basically nothing to say on modern life, its view of family life is a view of archaic theoreticians who stick to senseless, indefensible dogmas like that condoms are harmful. These dogmas are now, moreover, personified in the conservative pope whom the Czech Republic was welcoming so enthusiastically and uncritically.

But maybe (no irony) that will do: simply to draw energy from a unique moment. Everybody will then get back to their own real lives.

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