cardinal Dominik Duka

cardinal Dominik Duka OP

IN SPIRITU VERITATIS
("In the spirit of Truth")

Curriculum vitae

He was born on 26 April 1943 in Hradec Kralove to a family of an army officer who took part in the anti-Nazi resistance abroad. His father left for Italy in 1944 and later through Switzerland to England, where he fought in the Czechoslovakian army; in the 1950's he was imprisoned together with other officers from the Western Front.

In 1960, Jaroslav Duka finished the Tyl Grammar School in Hradec Kralove, he then worked in the factory for three years and was taught to be a locksmith. In 1962-1964 he did his compulsory military service. After much protraction, he was admitted to enter the Ss Cyril and Methodius' Faculty of Theology in Litomerice in 1965. On 5 January 1968 he entered the secret novitiate of the Dominican order with the religious name Dominik and on 6 January 1969 he took his temporary vows. He was ordained priest on 22 June 1970 by Cardinal Stepan Trochta, bishop of Litomerice. For five years he worked in boundary parishes of the Archdiocese of Prague (Chlum svate Mari, Jachymov, Nove Mitrovice – all of them are part of the Diocese of Plzen today). On 7 January 1972 he took his solemn vows in the Dominican order.

In 1975, his "State Approval of the Priestly Service" was taken off and he worked in Skoda Plzen for fifteen years; at the same time he lived the illegal religious life and studied. In 1975-1986 he was a vicar of the Dominican provincial and from 1976 to 1981 a master of the clergy. He participated in the establishment of order's secret study centre and organized religious activities for youth in the entire Czechoslovakia. In 1979 he graduated a Licentiate of Theology at the Pontifical Theological Faculty of St John the Baptist in Warsaw, Poland.

For his activity in the Dominican order and secret publishing of books (so-called "samizdat"), he was arrested in 1981-1982 and imprisoned in Plzen-Bory. From 1986 to 1998 he was a provincial of the Czechoslovakian Dominican Province, in 1992-1996 president of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men Religious in the Czech Republic and vice-president of theEuropean Conference of Major Superiors of Men Religious, in 1990-1998 member of the Accreditation Commission at the Czech Government, in 1990-1999 lecturer of Biblical Sciences at the Ss Cyril and Methodius' Faculty of Theology of the Palacky University in Olomouc.

On 6 June 1998, he was appointed bishop of Hradec Kralove by Pope John Paul II and on 26 September 1998 he was ordained by Archbishop Karel Otcenasek and co-consecrators Cardinal Miloslav Vlk and Archbishop Giovanni Coppa, Apostolic Nuncio, at the cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Hradec Kralove.

He took up generous activities and projects of his predecessor Karel Otcenasek. He proposed St Adalbert to be the third patron saint of the diocese. He founded the diocesan theological institute and a church grammar school in Skuteč. In 2002 he summoned the Second Diocesan Eucharistic Congress. Reconstruction of the "Nove Adalbertinum" was finished under his service and in the area's salla terrena a new Episcopal Library was built. The historical library in the residence was reconstructed. On 10 November 2004 Bishop Duka appointed new canons of the Holy Spirit Cathedral Chapter in Hradec Kralove. Pope John Paul II appointed him apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Litomerice on 6 November 2004 and he carried out this service until 22 Nov 2008. In 2007-2008 he organized the 700th anniversary of the Holy Spirit Cathedral, preceded by a reconstruction of stain glass windows and the interior, including a liturgical adjustment. In 2008 and 2009 he initiated the "Week of Mutual Understanding", a pastoral activity among inhabitants of large cities regardless their confession. As of 1 July 2009 he founded the Diocesan Ecclesiastical Court. Bishop Duka has been administering the Diocese of Hradec Kralove for twelve years, he designed and fulfilled the "Seven-Year Pastoral Program" to prepare pastoral service for a new millennium.

On 28 October 2001 he was awarded the I Grade Medal of Merit for the Czech Republic by the country's President, on 2 June 2003 he was awarded the II Grade Cross of Merit by the Minister of Defense and on 3 June 2008 the I Grade Cross of Merit by the Minister of Defense. On 20 June 2007 he was awarded the Grand Cross "Pro Piis Meritis" of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

In 2000-2004, he was vice-president of the Czech Bishops' Conference. He is president of the Commission for the Doctrine of Faith and the Commission for the Catholic Education within the Czech Bishops' Conference.

On 13 February 2010 he was appointed 36th Archbishop of Prague by Pope Benedict XVI.

On January 6, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI. appointed him as a cardinal. Cardinal Duka is to accept the insignia of cardinalate in Vatican on February 18 and 19, 2012.

He is member of the Ethical Forum in the Czech Republic and member of the Scientific Board of the Catholic Theological Faculty of the Charles University in Prague, of the Technical University in Liberec, of the University of Hradec Kralove, and of the Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University in Hradec Kralove. He is president of the Executive Council of the Czech Catholic Biblical Institute, member of the Centre for Biblical Studies at the Evangelical Theological Faculty of the Charles University in Prague, member of theConfederation of the prisoners of State, honorary editor-in-chief of the Salve – revue for theology, culture and spiritual life, member of the International Catholic Review Communio, and honorary president of the "Rodina sv. Zdislavy".

Among the large number of his books, there are: Zapas o cloveka ("Struggle for a Man"), Uvod do studia Pisma svateho ("Introduction to the Biblical Studies"),Skola vnitrni modlitby ("School of Interior Prayer"), Uvod do teologie("Introduction to the Theology"). His participation and 30-year-long organization of the translation of the Jerusalem Bible to Czech, published in 2009, is of great significance. During the Communist regime he secretly published studies in the "samizdat", articles in Sursum. He now publishes in Salve – revue for theology, culture and spiritual life, in Monitor, he is also an author of tens of articles in Czech as well as foreign books and magazines and in newspapers.


Personal data

Born: 26 Apr 1943 in Hradec Králové
Ordained priest: 22 Jun 1970
Appointed bishop: 6 Jun 1998 (Bishop of Hradec Králové)
Ordained bishop: 26 Sep 1998
Appointed archbishop: 13 Feb 2010 (Archbishop of Prague)
Appointed cardinal: 6 Jan 2012