Category : Czech Republic

A Short description of Jan Hus from the Virtual Museum of Protestantism

He protested against the ecclesiastical system, he preached in favour of reform in the Church and advocated a return to the poverty recommended by the Scriptures. Indeed, the Scriptures were the only rule and every manhad the right to study them. In Questio de indulgentis (1412) he denounced the indulgences.

He admired Wyclif’s writings and defended him when he was condemned as a heretic. He was excommunicated. An interdict was pronounced over Prague and he had to leave it and go to southern Bohemia, where he preached and wrote theological treatises, notably the Tractatus de ecclesia (1413), known as « The Church ».

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, Czech Republic, Europe

A Short description of Jan Hus from the Virtual Museum of Protestantism

He protested against the ecclesiastical system, he preached in favour of reform in the Church and advocated a return to the poverty recommended by the Scriptures. Indeed, the Scriptures were the only rule and every manhad the right to study them. In Questio de indulgentis (1412) he denounced the indulgences.

He admired Wyclif’s writings and defended him when he was condemned as a heretic. He was excommunicated. An interdict was pronounced over Prague and he had to leave it and go to southern Bohemia, where he preached and wrote theological treatises, notably the Tractatus de ecclesia (1413), known as « The Church ».

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, Czech Republic, Europe

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Jan Hus

Faithful God, who didst give Jan Hus the courage to confess thy truth and recall thy Church to the image of Christ: Enable us, inspired by his example, to bear witness against corruption and never cease to pray for our enemies, that we may prove faithful followers of our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, Czech Republic, Europe, Spirituality/Prayer

(Telegraph) Czech priest and former dissident Tomáš Halík wins £1.1m Templeton prize

An underground priest who defied the Communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia has won world’s biggest annual prize for his work promoting religious understanding.

Monsignor Professor Tomáš Halík, a philosopher and theologian, has been named as winner of the £1.1 million Templeton Prize for 2014.

He follows in the footsteps of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, both recent recipients of the award which recognises efforts to affirm “life’s spiritual dimension”.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Czech Republic, Europe, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

Surprise! Man finds himself in audience full of people he saved as children from Nazi camps

Sir Nicholas Winton organized the rescue and passage to Britain of about 669 mostly Jewish Czechoslovakian children destined for the Nazi death camps before World War II in an operation known as the Czech Kindertransport.

After the war, Nicholas Winton didn’t tell anyone, not even his wife Grete about his wartime rescue efforts. In 1988, a half century later, Grete found a scrapbook from 1939 in their attic, with all the children’s photos, a complete list of names, a few letters from parents of the children to Winton and other documents. She finally learned the whole story.

In the video [at the link] the survivors gathered to give him a wonderful surprise. Watch it all (Hat tip DR).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Czech Republic, England / UK, Europe, Germany, History, Judaism, Military / Armed Forces, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Violence

(Reuters) Czech Parliament votes to return church property confiscated by Communists

The Czech parliament on Thursday approved an ambitious plan to return billions of dollars worth of church property that was confiscated by the communists in a vote that represented a victory for Prime Minister Petr Necas.

The law envisages handing churches land, property, and financial compensation worth about $7 billion over a period of 30 years. Under the plan, the churches would become independent from the state and gradually stop getting government financing.

The agreement should unlock about 6 percent of the country’s forests and fields that once belonged to mostly Christian churches but which have been tied up pending a resolution of the restitution question.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Czech Republic, Europe, History, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Ronaldo puts Portugal into Euro semis with win over Czechs

All too often, Cristiano Ronaldo stuns the world with his fine footwork. On Thursday, the Portugal superstar used the determination of a raging bull to make the difference.

Ronaldo used his head to score the lone goal against the Czech Republic and send his team into the European Championship semifinals with a 1-0 victory.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Czech Republic, Europe, Men, Portugal, Sports

Greece and the Czech Republic go through to the Euro 2012 Quarterfinals

Greece beat Russia 1-0 in Warsaw with a first-half goal from captain Giorgos Karagounis to reach the quarter-finals, a result that sent the Russians home after the Czech Republic beat co-hosts Poland on a similar scoreline in Wroclaw.

Greece, winning for the first time in the tournament, went through as runners-up and will play the winners of Group B in the last eight.

Midfielder Karagounis, winning his 120th cap to equal the record for his country, made Russia pay for a flurry of missed chances when he scored against the run of play deep into first-half stoppage time.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Czech Republic, Europe, Greece, Men, Sports

Der Spiegel interviews Czech economist Tomas Sedlacek–'Greed is the Beginning of Everything'

Sedláček: Eve and Adam grab the opportunity and eat the fruit. The original sin has the character of excessive, unnecessary consumption. It is not of a sexual nature. A desire for something she doesn’t need is awakened in Eve. The living conditions in paradise were complete, and yet everything God had given the two wasn’t enough. In this sense, greed isn’t just at the birthplace of theoretical economics, but also at the beginning of our history. Greed is the beginning of everything.

SPIEGEL: So evil is the result of insatiability?

Sedláček: The demands of people are a curse of the gods. In Greek mythology, the story of Pandora, the first woman, who opens her jar out of curiosity, thereby releasing poverty, hunger and disease into the world, tells the same story as the Bible. In Babylonian culture, the Gilgamesh epic shows how desire rips man out of the harmony of nature.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Czech Republic, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Theology

UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks –Hanukkah's Powerful Contemporary Resonance in 2011

Go here and download or listen to it from the December 21stnd morning show. Fascinating the modern parallels he draws–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Czech Republic, Europe, History, Judaism, North Korea, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

One of the most important things Vaclav Havel Said

As soon as man began considering himself the source of the highest meaning in the world and the measure of everything, the world began to lose its human dimension, and man began to lose control of it.

Disturbing the Peace : A Conversation with Karel Hvizdala (Vintage, 1991 paperback ed. of the 1986 original trnslated by Paul Wilson, 1990), p.11

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Books, Czech Republic, Europe, History, Philosophy

Prague archbishop remembers Havel as friend, 'fellow prisoner'

Calling former Czech President Vaclav Havel a “friend and fellow prisoner,” the president of the Czech bishops’ conference said the entire nation owes Havel a debt of gratitude for its freedom and the new flourishing of Czech life and culture.

Archbishop Dominik Duka of Prague, who was imprisoned with Havel by the communists, asked that the bells of all Catholic churches in the Czech Republic ring at 6 p.m. Dec. 18 in memory of the former president who died that morning at the age of 75.

The archbishop, who met Havel in prison in 1981 and continued to meet with him after the end of communism in 1989, was scheduled to celebrate Havel’s funeral Mass Dec. 23 in St. Vitus Cathedral.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Czech Republic, Europe, History, Other Churches, Philosophy, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

A Look back to 2003–Matt Welch on Why Vaclav Havel is our era's George Orwell and more

But the smart money was wrong. Havel was the only real choice considered when the new Czech Republic needed a president in January 1993. And Havel’s entire career and philosophy, like Orwell’s, were dedicated to navigating ideological minefields under the extreme duress of personal participation and suffering. This skill, it turns out, had some relevance in the post-Gorbachev world too. Like Orwell’s, Havel’s words and zesty one-liners can be (and have been) quoted selectively to make him sound conservative, liberal, and otherwise, and his bedrock belief in the transformative power of “calling things by their proper names” virtually ensured that some of his freewheeling opinions would set off alarm bells among those who see the shadow of socialism in such phrases as “civil society” and “new politics.”

“I once said that I considered myself a socialist,” Havel wrote in Summer Meditations. “I merely wanted to suggest that my heart was, as they say, slightly left of center.” The words could have come directly out of Orwell’s mouth: “In sentiment I am definitely ‘left,'” he wrote in 1940, “but I believe that a writer can only remain honest if he keeps free of party labels.”

Havel went on to discuss the futility of those who would pin an ideological tag to his lapel. “All my adult life, I was branded by officials as ‘an exponent of the right’ who wanted to bring capitalism back to our country,” he wrote. “Today — at a ripe old age — I am suspected by some of being left-wing, if not of harboring out-and-out socialist tendencies. What, then, is my real position? First and foremost, I have never espoused any ideology, dogma, or doctrine — left-wing, right-wing, or any other closed, ready-made system of presuppositions about the world. On the contrary, I have tried to think independently, using my own powers of reason, and I have always vigorously resisted attempts to pigeonhole me.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Czech Republic, Europe, History, Politics in General

Vaclav Havel, Dissident Playwright Who Led Czechoslovakia, Dead at 75

Both as a dissident and as a national leader, Mr. [Vaclav] Havel impressed the West as one of the most important political thinkers in Central Europe. He rejected the notion, posited by reform-minded Communist leaders like Mikhail S. Gorbachev in the Soviet Union and Alexander Dubcek in Czechoslovakia, that Communist rule could be made more humane.

His star status and personal interests drew world leaders to Prague, from the Dalai Lama, with whom Mr. Havel meditated for hours, to President Bill Clinton, who, during a state visit in 1994, joined a saxophone jam session at Mr. Havel’s favorite jazz club.

Even after Mr. Havel retired in 2003, leaders sought him out, including President Obama. At their meeting in March 2009, Mr. Havel warned of the perils of limitless hope being projected onto a leader. Disappointment, he noted, could boil over into anger and resentment. Mr. Obama replied that he was becoming acutely aware of the possibility.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Czech Republic, Death / Burial / Funerals, Europe, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Theatre/Drama/Plays

NPR–Czech Doctors Prepare To Abandon The Republic

Fed up with shockingly low pay and long hours, doctors in the Czech Republic are threatening to leave the country en masse.

More than a quarter of all Czech doctors have already signed a declaration stating their intention to emigrate to better-paying European countries if the Czech government does not substantively address their concerns by the end of this year.

But the cash-starved Czech government is ignoring the warnings so far, dismissing the threat as a gimmick and moving ahead with cost-cutting plans.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Czech Republic, Europe, Health & Medicine