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Prosecutor to investigate Trnava archdiocese finances under Sokol

The financial management of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Trnava during Ján Sokol's 20-year tenure as archbishop until 2009 is to be checked by Slovakia's general prosecutor after an auditor at the archdiocese filed a criminal complaint on Wednesday, July 4. The audit had been initiated by Sokol’s successor, Archbishop Róbert Bezák, who was dismissed by the Vatican from his position at the beginning of this week, the Sme daily reports today (Friday, July 6).

The financial management of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Trnava during Ján Sokol's 20-year tenure as archbishop until 2009 is to be checked by Slovakia's general prosecutor after an auditor at the archdiocese filed a criminal complaint on Wednesday, July 4. The audit had been initiated by Sokol’s successor, Archbishop Róbert Bezák, who was dismissed by the Vatican from his position at the beginning of this week, the Sme daily reports today (Friday, July 6).

The auditor, who asked not to be named, said she could not reveal details. She said that she was required by law to file the criminal complaint since she had uncovered facts that suggested a crime had been committed. The Conference of Bishops of Slovakia (KBS) has refused to comment on the audit, or on any potential prosecution. KBS spokesman Ján Kováčik said that the new head of the archdiocese, Jan Orosch, who reports directly to the Vatican, will deal with the case. (After Bezák’s dismissal, management arrangements for the archdiocese were changed by the Holy See.) Sources close to Bezák say that it was precisely his efforts to make the financial management of the Trnava archdiocese more transparent that led to his dismissal, Sme reported.

The church has not commented on the reason's for the Pope's abrupt dismissal of Bezák, ignoring even questions from a group of missionary associations and activists.

Bezák's supporters had expected to hear a fuller explanation of his dismissal at a rally planned for Thursday, July 5, in St Nicholas Square in Trnava, but the planned mass protest, at which black ribbons were supposed to be worn, did not take place. Another rally to support Bezák has been called for later today (Friday, July 6), at which organisers say new information about the reasons for his dismissal will be given.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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