Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Who is Bishop Pavol Gojdič?

When the communist party seized power in the late 1940s it launched a campaign of repression against organised religion. The campaign included the forced transformation of Slovakia's minority Greek-Catholic church into the Russian Orthodox church. Church keys passed from Greek-Catholic to Russian Orthodox hands overnight.

When the communist party seized power in the late 1940s it launched a campaign of repression against organised religion. The campaign included the forced transformation of Slovakia's minority Greek-Catholic church into the Russian Orthodox church. Church keys passed from Greek-Catholic to Russian Orthodox hands overnight.

One of two Greek-Catholic Bishops in Slovakia, Pavol Gojdič opposed the move, refusing to co-operate with authorities who offered him a high function in a new Czechoslovak Orthodox diocese. A police report following a Prague interrogation in 1950 said that he had, "spoken only in a Šariš [eastern Slovak] dialect so no one would understand him."

In 1951, authorities seized Gojdič's property, fined him 200,000 Czechoslovak crowns and sentenced him to life in prison. Gojdič, then almost 60, refused to sign a document declaring himself Russian orthodox in exchange for his freedom.

In prison he was kept in solitary confinement and made to work in a mine. Sometimes guards forced him to do squats while kicking him.

Witnesses reported Gojdič performed secret masses inside prison, told fellow inmates he forgave those who tortured him and offered to do the work of weaker inmates. His sentence was reduced in 1953 from life to 25 years in prison. He died seven years later on July 17, his 72nd birthday.

The vote to beatify him - which required only a simple majority of a secret council of cardinals - was unanimous.

Top stories

End of investigative show a cause for concern

Media freedom watchdogs believe the scrapping of the only investigative show on public-service television is a threat to its independence.

Jaroslav Rezník

Proxy for Roma criticises minister Kaliňák for ethnical and group discrimination

The government proxy slammed Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák for the draft law on repressing criminality in Roma settlements, for populist discrimination and preferring repression to prevention.

Roma communities, illustrative stock photo

Slovak racer Svitko finished at Dakar Video

After a serious fall in the tenth leg, Slovak motorcyclist Štefan Svitko resigned from the 40th year of the Dakar Rally due to pain in his upper body.

Štefan Svitko

Carmakers in Slovakia produced more than one million cars last year

2018 will be critical for Slovakia’s automotive industry, claim sector’s representatives.

Most cars produced in Slovakia head for export.