Mons. Dominik Duka took over the office of Prague archbishop
Prague: Enthronization began at 9.45 am with a procession from the Archiepiscopal palace to the cathedral through the Gate of giants in attendance of the Apostolic Nuncio to the Czech Republic Mons. Diego Causero, the Czech, Moravian, Slovakian and other foreign bishops, priests, religious people and plenty of laity. Cardinal Miloslav Vlk welcomed the new archbishop and emphasized that the Church had influenced and shaped the history of the Czech nation.
R.P. Benedikt Mohelník OP read the Bull of appointment from the Pope Benedikt XVI. in Latin and deacon Štěpán Fábera in Czech. Cardinal Miloslav Vlk passed the archiepiscopal crosier to Mons. Dominik Duka. The Dean of the chapter at St. Vitus, Mons. Michael Slavik delivered a greeting in which he remembered, among other things, the testimony of St. Adalbert.
The Speech of the Czech president Václav Klaus followed. According to his words the Prague cathedral holds us together also with our ancestors. He also mentioned the tragic aircraft accident of the Polish president Lech Kaczyński, which happend on the same day in the morning. New Prague archbishop was also greeted by representatives of families, youth, seniors, who mentioned their unsubstitutable role in the society.
The holy mass began at 10 am. Mons. Dominik Duka pointed out in his homily that ”our culture, civilisation, but also political history had been shaped by joint efforts of the Czech people, German countrymen and the Jews. The glory of the past and the allure of the present Prague city stand upon their efforts, not upon their disputes.“ To the address of the cathedral, into which Mons. Dominik Duka was entering as the one taking the tribune of St. Adalbert, he said that the cathedral is not only the property of the Church alone, but that ”our task today is to change the history of the winners and defeated to history of creators in our country.“
He also stated that in the kingdom of Jesus Christ there is no place for oppression and human humiliation. ”If we say: ´God´!, ´Man´ echoes. Without care for any of his brothers and sisters his efforts for the sake of society would be futile. It is possible to comply with these requirements only in the community of brothers and sisters. In the end of the homily he thanked his predecessor Cardinal Miloslav Vlk.
Mons. Diego Causero, Apostolic Nuncio in the Czech Republic spoke at the end of the holy mass. He appreciated the service of Miloslav Vlka and encouraged Mons. Dominik Duka in his first steps of his new service to God and the Church.
Naděžda Kavalírová from the Confederation of political prisoners as well as the Mayor of the Hradec Králové town Otakar Divíšek spoke at the end of the holy mass. Naděžda Kavalírová, among other things, wished Archbishop Duka that his service be linked with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. These words were said during the Easter octave which we are celebrating these days. The Mayor of the Hradec Králové town Otakar Divíšek appreciated the cooperation with Mons. Dominik Duka in various activities in Hradec Králové.
Mons. Duka thanked all those in Prague and Hradec Králové who prepared the ceremony, all the present guests, foundations, the Czech Television and Radio corporations for the life broadcasting of the holy mass. He commented on the tragic aicraft incident that has struck Poland and in the name of all bishops and the whole Czech Church offered his deepest sympathies to the Polish people. After that he gave his archbishop blessing in the Latin language.
Chorale of St.Wenceslas, joint prayer of new archbishop with representatives from other Churches and a closing festive procession to the Archiepiscopal palace accompanied by the song “Vesel se nebes královno” closed the enthronization ceremony.
On Saturday April 4, at 15.00 Archbishop Dominik Duka met journalists in the Břevnov monastery.
Photos: Pavel Fišera