The decision followed the wish of the recently deceased priest, Martin Lipták from the press department of the President’s Office told the SITA newswire.
Srholec died on January 7, 2016 at the age of 86. He was born on June 12, 1929 in Skalica. After he decided to study theology, which was not possible in then communist-Czechoslovakia, he tried to illegally emigrate abroad in 1951 to study there. However, he was caught and sentenced to 12 years in prison, of which he served 10, mostly in uranium mines in Jáchymov; after his release in 1960, he was a labourer working at construction sites.
Later, he worked as a labourer and secretly studied theology – also at the papal university in Torino. In 1970, he was ordained as a priest by Pope Paul VI, yet after he returned to Czechoslovakia, Srholec could not pursue a clerical career, and he was first a sexton and then a popular preacher in the Bratislava church of Blumentál. He was also sent to smaller parishes in the vicinity of Bratislava.
In 1985, he was stripped of state approval after he had organised religious festivities at Velehrad. He worked again as a labourer and retired in 1989.
In the following years, after the fall of communism, Srholec was active in the Helsinki Committee and other organisations, as chairman of the Confederation of Political Prisoners of Slovakia (KPVS), and he mostly focused on working with homeless people.