Thousands at St Wenceslaus National Pilgrimage

The National Pilgrimage to St. Wenceslaus, commemorated on Friday, September 28, culminated with the mass celebrated at the main square in Stará Boleslav, town where St. Wenceslaus – patron saint of the Czech nation – was martyred. Participating at the mass were Czech and Moravian bishops, civil authorities including President of the Czech Republic Václav Klaus, and several thousands pilgrims from the entire country.
Published: 28. 9. 2012 20:49

Stará Boleslav: The solemn mass, presided by Archbishop Jan Graubner of Olomouc, started at 10.00 a.m. with a welcome by Mayor of Stará Boleslav Ondřej Přenosil. In his homily, Bishop František Radkovský of Plzeň spoke about current situation in the society. “We don’t like liberty that we didn’t learn to live in faithfully, we don’t know how to handle it,” he said and continued: “We are not willing to admit that we all are responsible for moral crisis, which is the real reason for all problems of our society: there are too many people among us who don’t work honestly, too many of those who try to live at the expense of other people, too many of those who wish to manipulate others, who don’t tell the truth and don’t keep their word, too many of those who are indifferent to their parents, don’t take care of their children, gamble with their own lives as well as lives of other people by dangerous driving and by ruthless behaviour in general. And we could go on without end. I don’t say everyone is like that; in fact it is only a minority of people. However, evil done by a minority affects all people, especially when the rest remains passive,” said Bishop Radkovský and warned against cheap solutions how to lead our country out of the moral crisis.

“More and more we can hear people saying that democracy is a wrong system. But be careful to think about alternatives. If we don’t like freedom, what do we want – lack of freedom? If democracy is wrong, what do we want – dictatorship?” According to Bishop Radkovský, similar danger is hidden also in the current discussion concerning the property settlement of the state with churches and religious societies. “I don’t care for the property itself as much as for the ways some people would like to rule. We know from experience that the Church will live even without a property settlement – God has always taken care of her and he will again. But all the more relevant is the context. We know from our personal memory as well as from knowledge of history what comes from dirt, lies, envy and unreal, though attractive promises. It always produces injustice, despotism, lack of freedom and poverty. This is how both tyrannies of the past century – Nazism and communism – started. Let us not allow another tyranny to appear as a result of our moral crisis and disability to handle freedom and democracy.”

President Klaus defended Christian values

At the end of the mass the gathering was addressed also by Apostolic Nuncio to the Czech Republic Giuseppe Leanza and by President of the Czech Republic Václav Klaus. The latter reiterated his last year’s concern to defend traditional Christian values. “We constantly witness attacks of so many progressists on our well-proven social values and virtues that were being formed for such a long time,” said the President. According to him, erosion of Christian moral values affects the entire society and even causes problems such as current economical crisis. This is why Václav Klaus considers it important to defend our common traditions louder and stronger, because they are an essential part of spiritual and moral dimension of our nation’s existence. “We should always be true to ourselves, to know what we want and what is good for us, what conforms to our national interests. This is the only way how to resist being a mere weathercock tossed by interests of others,” said Václav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic.

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