Czech and long-time pro-Russian President Miloš Zeman has performed an unexpected and somewhat desperate somersault of opinion, calling his friend Putin a lunatic, hoisting the Ukrainian flag at Prague Castle, and planning to award Ukrainian President Zelensky the Czech Republic’s highest state honour, the Order of the White Lion.
A number of leading Czech officials, including the presidents of both chambers of Parliament, the president of the Constitutional Court, and at least three university rectors, have announced that they will not attend the event of the awarding of state honours because of Zeman’s past warm relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia and his frequent attempts to discredit Czech intelligence services warning of Russia’s hostile actions in the country.
Has our “favourite” Cardinal Dominik Duka woken up together with the President?
Let us recall how, at the end of 2018, he responded to the question of whether or not he supported the arrival of fifty orphans – refugees from Syria – to the Czech Republic:
“The Archbishop of Olomouc and the Charity of the Czech Republic are dealing with these matters. (…) I am unable to intervene in this debate on the merits.”
“Yes, generally speaking, we all know that it is necessary to help those in need, but on the other hand, we also know that this is to some extent a political struggle these days. For that reason, I cannot answer.”
From these answers, it appears that the Cardinal tried very hard not to answer in any way. Which was consistent with his views on the reception of refugees in general:
“We don’t realise the chaos into which we could plunge society, because the question of accepting these people, it really means the consolidation of the whole society.”
“I myself have previously supported an African student in the Adopt-a-Road program.” (!)
Since the declaration of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic in 2014, Cardinal Duka has remained silent about the events in Ukraine.
Instead, he has taken up the fight against the Istanbul Convention and has advocated inceedible sermon by former Minister of Education Petr Piťha, who said:
“Homosexuals will be declared superior to the ruling class, you will belong to the inferior auxiliary class and work according to the instructions of powerful elites that will determine what is and what is not allowed to be said.”
(We wrote about this topic here)
Instead, he found friends among the xenophobic far-right:
“Tomio Okamura and I are united by our concern for people’s safety. I know what I’m saying.”
Instead, he (did not) care about the victims of the hurricane in Texas and the floods in Germany by sending them thoughts and prayers.
So what is Cardinal Duka doing now that even the powerful in his environment have done a 180° turn?
Suddenly he is talking about the “illegal invasion of Ukraine, which is analogous to the biblical story of the first fratricide”, celebrating Masses for peace and tweeting fundraisers for charity.
But there is nothing on his own website. No official statement, no official condemnation of Russian aggression and its dictatorial leader, no official condemnation of Vladimir Mikhailovich Gundyayev’s – Russian Orthodox bishop Kirill’s – statements.
His tweet, posted a few days before the war, is all the sadder:
“One cannot be neutral between good and evil, one cannot be neutral between truth and falsehood. We must stand up for the good and for those who are right.”
– Václav Havel
Please repeat this all day long, Dominic Duka, instead of your prayers…
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