On March 19, President Gašparovič received Bratislava’s new metropolitan archbishop, Stanislav Zvolenský, and Žilina’s new diocesan bishop, Tomáš Galis, the SITA newswire wrote. The president congratulated them on receiving their posts. At the meeting, they talked about the role of the Catholic Church and mutual help between the state and the Church, as well as the role of the Church in relation to the morality of citizens. The president said that the development of new dioceses was welcomed, as this enabled better cooperation between bishops and the Church’s members.
Gašparovič added he was disappointed with the attitude of some political parties and Church members towards the establishment of a Hungarian diocese in Slovakia. With regard to dissatisfaction from the Hungarian minority and the fact that some want to make this an ethnic minority issue, the Slovak President said he was “astonished and surprised, as there is only one faith and if a Roman Catholic believes in God, it does not matter if a Slovak, Hungarian, Italian or German speaks to him in Hungarian about God. I think that this is a desire to create a political problem rather than a problem of faith or religion." He also stated that the Slovak Republic respected the Constitution and Article 24, which says that matters of the Church are issues for the Vatican, and that the treaty between the Holy See and the Slovak Republic defines Church matters as absolutely independent from the country's politics. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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