Cardinal Duka: Is tearing down statues the end of our Christian civilization?

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Speaking in Velehrad, the most important Czech pilgrimage site, on the occasion of celebrating the arrival of the Christian missionaries to the Czech territory, Cardinal Dominik Duka talked about divisions in today’s society, stressing that in democracy, there has to be morality and respect for others.

However, Duka began his speech by saying that Velehrad is a place that helped Czechs find their national identity.

“According to tradition, St. Ludmila was also baptized here by St. Methodius and received a Marian medallion, later called the Palladium, which found its place on the chest of St. Wenceslas, her grandson and became part of our national and spiritual identity,” said Duka, commemorating the arrival of the first Christian missionaries Cyril and Methodius celebrated on July 6.

Duka then pointed out that in the current situation, many people feel lost and wonder how to carry on.

“The current unrest, acts of violence, and vandalism during mass demonstrations affect the world. What should we do? Politicians, economists, entrepreneurs, but also our families and friends are asking. We, the Christians, also ask ourselves this question,” said Duka.

“Currently, interpreters of the Word of God have more authority than the power of the Holy Spirit or the words of Jesus. Society is not only divided by the fragmentation of political conceptions accompanied by a decline in values, but this fragmentation is also supported by hostile attacks of some media, especially social networks. They send protesters to the streets and call for demonstrations. We build statues and then we tear them down. It is legitimate to ask whether this is a phenomenon of the end of our Western but also our Christian civilization,” suggested Duka.

In this context, he stressed that freedom cannot exist without responsibility as well as love cannot exist without forgiveness, and democracy without morality and respect for others.

In addition to Cyril and Methodius Day, on July 5, Czechs also commemorated the 605th anniversary of the burning of Czech preacher Jan Hus who sought to reform the Church. While the legacy of Jan Hus is closely interwoven throughout crucial parts of Czech history, in the Vatican, it was not until 1999 when Pope John Paul II declared that he regretted Hus’s cruel death and recognized him as a reformer of the Church.

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