Card. Dominik Duka

Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Prague
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“(…) I was overwhelmed by a desire to become a priest who is not afraid to tell the truth, and who can draw strength from within, from the unprecedented life of our Lord Jesus” – recalled Dominik Duka how he was invited for service at the age of 14. The Cardinal, who is also the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Prague had to endure a lot of suffering during the decades of communist dictatorship. His father was incarcerated for opposing the system, and he too was harassed during this period. He joined the Dominican Order – which operated illegally at the time – in secret. He was ordained a priest at the age of twenty-seven, however his licence was revoked by the state. Until the fall of the regime in 1989, he worked in a factory, and taught theology in secret for which he was incarcerated. After the transition to democracy, he was appointed a bishop, and later an archbishop in 2010, while in 2012 he was created a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI. Upon his appointment as an archbishop, he said: “Twenty years ago we welcomed freedom in a state of euphoria; today we are in the middle of an economic and financial downturn, and to a certain extent we are also experiencing a crisis of our values. So our tasks have become a bit more challenging. But thanks to our efforts, the road to future no longer leads to a future of uncertainty.”

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