We showed a better side of us
Prague (CZ): A wonderful place of the capitulary library of the Mladota House at Prague castle is a dignified place for this fine selection of photographs, on which the photographer Filip Kotek took down the visit of the Holy Father Benedict XVI. in our country in September last year (26.-28.9.2009). This exhibition, called Benedict XVI in the Czech Republic" is organised together by the Office of the President of the Republic and the Czech Bishops´ Conference. Filip Kotek, author of the exhibition, as the official photographer of the Czech Bishops´ Conference during the Pope´s visit and therefore he had the opportunity, as one of three photographers, to document the visit of the Holy Father from the immediate closeness.
"The festive opening was attended by the Presidential couple, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, Archbishop Jan Graubner and Dominik Duka, Apostolic Nuncio Diego Causero and a number of further personalities", stated David Šebek from the Press office of the Office of the President of the Czech Republic.
Filip Kotek, author of the exhibition and photographer from Olomouc, gained the word as the first. "Photos, I am presenting you here today, are the outcome of the three-day long marathon and they witness the amazing atmosphere, which accompanied the whole visit of the Pope Benedict XVI in the Czech Republic", said Kotek and confessed that the realisation of this exhibition in the premises of the Prague castle is for him more than a satisfied dream. He expressed the hope, that the exhibition would be of the same contribution for the visitors as those three days spent in the proximity of the Pope for him.
The Archbishop of Olomouc, Jan Graubner spoke as the next and welcomed the opportunity to thank again to all who had participated at preparations of the visit of the Holy Father which has left such a positive response in the whole country and has been of real contribution not only for the Church but for the whole society as well. "It was shown that we can be different than in the normal ordinary days. Everyone from us offered a better side of itself and my big wish is, that this happens more often, not only by such an extraordinary occasion as the visit of the Holy Father is," emphasized Archbishop Graubner. In the name of the Czech Bishops´ Conference he expressed gratitude to Mr. Jindřich Forejt, director of Protocol of the Office of the President of the Czech Republic and one of the main organisers of the Pope’s visit. He handed him over the pontifical decoration, Order of St. Gregory the Great, for which the Czech Bishop Conference asked the Holy Father as a manifestation of the gratitude for the excellent cooperation.
Jindřich Forejt responded to the award beside others by saying: "My first thought belongs naturally to the Holy Father, whose visit we remind us of here today. I would like to express my gratitude for the Order, which he generously passed over to me, Order after big teacher of the Church and Pope Gregory the Great." He also thanked the President of the Czech Republic for the confidence that he had entrusted him with the organisation of the visit. The Order of St. Gregory the Great represents for Mr. Forejt a clear connection to the Church and to the Holy Father, who he eminently appreciates as an authority, who one can listen to and can be inspired from.
The concluding words were said by the President of the Republic Mr. Václav Klaus. According to his words the visit of the Holy Father was an extraordinary event not only for the Catholic Church, but for all citizens of the Czech Republic as well. Thereby he considers to be very good that further occasions are launched out to remember this visit. This exhibition is an example of that. He agreed with Archbishop Gaubner, that the visit of Benedict XVI demonstrated, that it is not that bad with us, as various media describe the way of thinking of our citizens. The reality is different than the simplified patterns in our media world declare. The President expressed a wish that many visitors of the Prague castle would come to see this exhibition as well. He also thanked all people present and also those who had prepared the exhibition beginning with the author. His speech was concluded by the festive toast and by declaring the exhibition as opened.
The exhibition will last at Prague castle till June 30, 2010 and after that it will be presented at Velehrad as part of the celebrations of Cyril and Method on July 4, 2010.
The pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great (L'Ordine Equestre Pontificio di San Greogorio Magno) belongs to the five decorations awarded by the Holy Father. This Order was assigned by the Pope Gregory XVI with the intention to be awarded to the loyal and worthy men of exemplary reputation who had merit in "welfare of the society, of the Church and the Holy See". The motto of this Order is "Pro Deo et Principe", which means "For God and Master". Bearers of this award become members of the Order with the title "Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great", which is a riding knight order. The knights are guaranteed a privileged place during the papal processions and by other ceremonies. Since 1994 also women can be awarded by this decoration and they receive the titel "Lady of the Order of St. Gregory the Great".
Filip Kotek, author of the exhibition, was born in Olomouc August 9, 1976.
In 2005 he founded PRO-ART FOTOSTUDIO (Photo studio).
During the visit of the Pope Benedict XVI in the Czech Republic, he was the official photographer of the Czech Bishops´ Conference.
He devotes oneself beside others to the advertising photography. www.proart-fotostudio.cz