Dominik Duka, the former Archbishop of Prague, has řeč ently made more controversial statements that reveal his outdated and intolerant views.
In a Facebook post, Duka compared defenders of “traditional marriage” to victims of Nazism and Communism. He stated that people advocating exclusively heterosexual marriage face persecution akin to those oppressed by totalitarian regimes in the 20th century. This highly insensitive analogy appalled many, including the Jewish community.
Rabbi David Maxa published an open letter criticizing Duka’s comments. He pointed out that Jews do not interfere with Catholic matters and expect the same respect in return. The rabbi said Duka was “massively distorting facts” by implying Jews suffered in WWII and Communism for defending marriage between men and women.
Maxa also condemned Duka’s insinuation that same-sex couples raising children are similar to Russian aggressors killing civilians in Ukraine. This dangerous rhetoric associates LGBTQ people with an invading army committing horrific war crimes.
Duka has made other problematic statements recently. He downplayed the violence against a Pride event in Tbilisi, Georgia, calling it a “traditional Georgian dance” expressing “joy and dialogue.” In reality, an Orthodox Christian mob attacked Pride participants while the police evacuated them for safety. Duka’s flippant reaction shows his tacit tolerance of anti-LGBTQ hatred and violence.
The cardinal’s views are clearly out of touch with reality and modern ethical norms. While he deserves credit for opposing communist totalitarianism in the past, his current stances promote intolerance and false equations between benign social progress and violent oppression. Duka should refrain from further inflammatory rhetoric that even more divides society.
If he cannot acknowledge the harm caused by his words, retirement from public life may be the best option.