note: Originally this statement was intended only for the Czech audience, but we believe that Mr Duka is such a public figure that we should publish this statement here as well.
We are deeply concerned about the unceasing efforts of former Archbishop of Prague Dominik Duka to influence public and political discourse in our country.
Mr. Duka has long been guilty of numerous excesses in his public appearances and actions, and his statements and attitudes promote intolerance, divide society, and constitute interference by the Church in the affairs of a democratic state.
Mr Duka has repeatedly shown that he clings to dogmas and hierarchies of power instead of the true Christian values of love, compassion and forgiveness. His rigid positions on abortion or homosexuality go against the tide of real moral progress for humanity.
Particularly disturbing are Duke’s attempts to meddle in the politics of a democratic state. Whether it is his electioneering in favor of specific candidates or, most recently, when in a recent speech at the National St. Wenceslas Pilgrimage he quoted Karel Čapek in a way that was clearly intended to publicly disparage the newly elected president, Petr Pavel.
We consider such behaviour to be an unacceptable attempt to influence politics from a position of spiritual authority in a secular state – an unacceptable overstepping of the Church’s authority.
A secular state must honor the separation of church and politics!
Former Cardinal Duka has repeatedly shown intolerance and contempt for minorities. Whether it is his statements about the LGBT community, his downplaying of violence against pride marches, or his scandalous comparison of the defenders of the “traditional family” to the victims of the Holocaust. We find this comparison extremely insensitive and offensive to the real victims of totalitarian regimes.
For these reasons, we believe that Mr. Duka should resign from public office and public speaking.
His voice, under the guise of “God’s love”, only spreads division, hatred and misunderstanding in our society. The Czech Republic needs moral authorities who will unite people, not divide them.
And Czech Catholics need a moral authority that is wise and empathetic.
May Mr. Duka find enough humility in himself to recognize that his era has passed and it is time for him to go.