Czech government expected to give statement on future co-operation with Vatican
The Vatican is expecting an official statement from the Czech government on how it sees future relations between the Holy See and the Czech Republic, the spokesman for the Czech Bishops' Conference Daniel Herman said. In May, the lower house of Parliament failed to ratify an already signed agreement on bilateral relations, due to a large majority of votes against the document from the Social Democrats as well as the opposition Communists and Civic Democrats. The Vatican has officially voiced surprise at the rejection of the long-prepared document. But Czech deputies point out the agreement does not resolve controversial issues such as property restitutions and the funding of churches. According to deputy Prime Minister Petr Mares, the government will try to persuade the Chamber of Deputies to approve the agreement between the Czech Republic and the Vatican. With the Czech Republic being one of the last post-communist countries which has not passed an agreement regulating its relations with the Catholic Church, Mr Mares, said it is practically unthinkable not to have relations with the Vatican settled.