cardinal Miloslav Vlk

cardinal Miloslav Vlk

That they all may be one
(Jan 17,21)

Curriculum vitae

He was born on 17 May 1932 in Lisnice. After finishing high school in 1952 and unable to take up theological studies, he worked at a car-making factory in Ceske Budejovice. In 1953-1955 he did his compulsory military service in Dvory u Karlovych Varu. During the time of unstable political liberty he entered the Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Philosophy for the Archival Science. He graduated in 1960 and worked as an archivist in District Archive in Trebon and Jindrichuv Hradec. In December 1960, he was appointed director of the archive of Ceske Budejovice. He published many scientific articles in various periodicals.

In 1964 he was allowed to enter the Ss Cyril and Methodius Theological Faculty in Litomerice, on 23 June 1968 he was ordained priest by Bishop Josef Hlouch of Ceske Budejovice and appointed his secretary. His influence and enthusiasm in the pastoral care had aroused much concern among Communist authorities, thus he had to go to mountain villages Laziste and Zablati in 1971, and in 1972 he was transferred to Rozmital pod Tremsinem, where he served for 7 years. In 1978, his "State Approval of the Priestly Service" was taken off.

For the next 10 years he lived in Prague, secretly served in small groups of faithful and worked as a window-cleaner and later as an archivist in the Czechoslovakian State Bank. On 1 January 1989, he was allowed once again to exercise his priestly ministry and administered parishes in the district of Klatovy: Zihobce, Bukovnik, later Cachrov, Javorna, Zelezna Ruda, Besiny, Straz na Sumave.

After the "Velvet Revolution", he was appointed bishop of Ceske Budejovice on 14 February 1990 and ordained bishop on 31 March. After a year, on 27 March 1991, he was appointed archbishop of Prague and metropolitan of Bohemia.

From 1991 to 1992 he was a president of the Czechoslovakian Bishops' Conference, in 1993-2000 of the Czech Bishops' Conference. In 1993-2001 he was president of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences (CCEE). On 26 November 1994 he was appointed cardinal, two days later he was nominated member of the Congregation for Oriental Churches and thePontifical Council for the Social Communication.


Cardinal Miloslav Vlk was conferred many prizes:

On 25 February 1999, he was awarded the Great Cross of Service (Grosses Verdienstkreuz), a state decoration of the Federal Republic of Germany, and on 28 October 2002 the Order of Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, a state decoration of the Czech Republic, for his eminent contribution to the promotion of democracy and human rights.

In 1992-1993 he was conferred three honorary degrees from Illinois Benedictine College and St Thomas University in USA and a Doctorate of Theology at Passau, Germany. In 2001-2002 he was conferred two other honorary degrees in Poland (Pontifical Academy of Theology in Krakow andUniversity in Opole).

He received honorary citizenships in Rozmital pod Tremsinem (1992), Cedar Rapids, USA (1992), Baltimore, USA (1992), Trebon (1996), Klodzko, Poland (1996), Roudnice nad Labem (1997), and Mnisek pod Brdy (1998).

Personal data

Born: 17 May 1932 in Líšnice
Ordained priest: 23 Jun 1968
Appointed bishop: 14 Feb 1990 (biskup českobudějovický)
Ordanined bishop: 31 Mar 1990
Appointed archbishop: 27 Mar 1991 (arcibiskup pražský)
Appointed cardinal: 26 Nov 1994
Retired: 13 Feb 2010