Klaus, Duka sign agreement on joint administration of St Vitus Cathedral

President Václav Klaus and the Archbishop of Prague Dominik Duka signed an agreement in Prague on Monday the joint administration of St Vitus Cathedral – ending an 18-year-long property dispute. The agreement outlines that the historic site, which Mr Klaus called an “exceptional national symbol” will be run jointly by the state and the Czech Catholic Church, meaning that the Church will withdraw a complaint filed at the Constitutional Court. Archbishop Dominik Duka’s approach to settling the dispute comes in marked contrast to that of his predecessor, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, who opposed a similar deal and threatened to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights. Twice in the past, lower Czech courts ruled in favour of the Church, but in the last decision the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the state. The Church lost control of St Vitus Cathedral in 1954, several years after the Communists seized power in then-Czechoslovakia.

Author: Jan Velinger