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More controversy surrounds bishop

THE ARCHBISHOP of Trnava, Ján Sokol, who is expected to retire soon, is alleged to have transferred Sk500 million [€16.6 million at 2009 exchange rates] to the account of a former communist-era secret police (ŠtB) agent, Štefan Náhlik, in 1998, the Týždeň weekly reported.

THE ARCHBISHOP of Trnava, Ján Sokol, who is expected to retire soon, is alleged to have transferred Sk500 million [€16.6 million at 2009 exchange rates] to the account of a former communist-era secret police (ŠtB) agent, Štefan Náhlik, in 1998, the Týždeň weekly reported.

“This is compelling information from our viewpoint and if it is confirmed, it would be a bad mistake by Ján Sokol,” the spokesman of the Conference of Bishops of Slovakia (KBS), Jozef Kováčik, told the SITA newswire, adding that church authorities in both Slovakia and the Vatican are now examining the information.

According to Týždeň, Sokol transferred the money in five payments of about Sk100 million. The church never missed the money, earned from the sale of lands, as it was not included in the accounts of the Bratislava-Trnava archdiocese, but were instead sent to a separate account handled by Sokol. The suspicious transfer of money was checked by the police about 10 years ago, but no investigation was launched for unknown reasons, SITA reported.

Štefan Náhlik played a key role in ŠtB efforts in the early 1980s to dissolve the secret Franciscan order.

According to Týždeň there is no knowledge about his activities since 1998 and how he used the money. Another unanswered question is why the archbishop did not send the money earned from the sale of lands belonging to the church to the account of the archdiocese.

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