The Czech bishops have previously stood against the convention which aims, according to its supporters, primarily to strengthen the protection of women against violence. They argue that the document promotes gender equality which does not respect natural divisions between men and women, but makes gender a choice. However, part of the Church, including Halík, has understanding for the convention.
Duka and Halík met in the middle of November on a Priests Day which was dedicated to the Istanbul Convention and the topic of gender. According to available information, Duka interrupted Halík’s speech at this gathering. “It was an exchange of ideas when in the discussion, instead of asking the lecturer, professor Halík began to lecture himself,” said Stanislav Zeman, a spokesman of the Prague Archbishopric, without any further details.
Consequently, Duka sent Halík a letter in which he officially warned him. However, the Archbishop and Halík do not want to publish the letter just yet. In Halík’s open reply, he supported the Istanbul Convention and criticized conservative priests.