The Czech bishops informed Vaclav Klaus that this gathering does not mean support for Klaus’s favorite presidential candidate Milos Zeman. This has been said in a statement of Czech Bishops’ Conference (CBK), which has been provided to the media. Klaus thanked to the highest representatives of the Czech Catholic Church for dialogue with the Church that was led by him. President believes that during his presidency, his leadership in this matter positively shifted the relationship between the Church and the Czech public.

The lunch was planned in advance as a farewell to the Klaus presidency, which ends in early March, said Czech Bishops’ conference before a gala dinner with Klaus in Prague Archbishop’s Palace. “This meeting, which falls in turbulent times, does not support the bishops expressing attitudes and Presidential election in the presidential campaign,” said CBK. Klaus clearly supported  Zeman in the final presidential election.

CBK or cardinal and Archbishop of Prague Dominik Duka, who is head of the Roman Catholic Church in the Czech Republic has not given specific recommendations related to the presidential election.  Some representatives of the Catholic Church, including Cardinal and Duka’s predecessor Miloslav Vlk supported Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09).

“If someone is able to humiliate himself and ask for the electoral support representatives of a totalitarian system from fifties and later years, who have caused so much evil in our recent past, shows that it is mainly to achieve own goals for any cost,” criticized Wolf presidential candidate Zeman in a statement to media. According to him, it cannot expected to find “angelic” and completely flawless candidate in these elections, therefore it is obvious choice is to support Schwarzenberg.

Neither Duka nor Klaus released any statements related to the presidential elections today to the reporters. Prague’s archbishop thanked Klaus for his “various political positions”.  He appreciated the cooperation with the president during variety of negotiations and with the preparation of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI in the Czech Republic.

Klaus said to bishops that he has always considered as necessary to facilitate the dialogue with the Catholic Church. “I learn from it and I gained some understanding,” he said. He always wanted for Churches to be successful in finding a good relationship with the society. “I believe that this decade meant some positive shift in relationships that exist within our country between the Catholic Church and the Czech public,” he said.


Frantisek Jemelka
Czech Bishops Conference

Translated from the Czech by Daniel Sputa