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Concordat Watch - Slovakia - content area

Texts of Slovak concordats and other Church-state documents

 
 Steps are being taken towards canonising Slovakia's wartime president, Monsignor Josef Tiso (shown in the upper right corner giving the fascist salute). The Catholic Church is depicting this puppet state of the Nazis as the golden era of Slovakia, when Church and state co-operated to control society. A more sober assessment can be found in the scholarly biography Priest, Politician and Collaborator: Josef Tiso and the Making of Fascist Slovakia.

Most of the documents in this section have been translated into English for the first time. The series begins with a cautious "Modus Vivendi" made with a democratic Czechoslovakia, continues with a remarkable profession of Church approval of the Slovak wartime fascist regime, (even birthday greetings wishing victory to Hitler), and concludes with the texts of concordats which are meant to help restore that "ideal society" whose president was a priest.

Modus Vivendi with Czechoslovakia (1928)

This agreement, made ten years after Czechoslovakia was founded, was a diplomatic note needing no approval by the new country's democratic parliament. The Vatican was obliged to give the government a veto over the appointment of bishops (Article 4) in return for state subsidies for the Church (Article 1) and an end to state administration of Church property (Article 2).

Birthday greetings for Hitler (19 April 1940)

The Slovak Fascists eagerly handed over Slovak Jews, and even paid the Germans 500 Reichmark apiece for each one they took away on cattle cars. Little did these Slovaks realise that if their “ardent prayers” for the Führer's victory were successful, as Slavic “Untermenschen”, they’d have been the next to go under Hitler’s secret Generalplan Ost.

Declaration of loyalty to the Fascist regime by the Catholic clergy of Slovakia (1940)

This Declaration was made in 1940 when Hitler’s puppet regime in Slovakia was led by a Catholic priest, Father Tiso, who headed the Fascist party founded by Father Hlinka. This document argues for still more clerical influence by reminding the government who helped the Fascists to power: “The Slovak Catholic priests were the first who waged war against Judeo-Marxism”. Also included are excerpts from the 1942 Declaration of the Slovak bishops vilifying the Jews.

Basic Concordat (2000)

This irrevocable agreement was ratified sixteen working days after it was tabled. Two of the sections of the original draft, the ones on the financing of the Church and conscientious objection, provoked so much opposition that they were to be turned into later separate treaties. Thus the Basic Treaty provides the framework for four more concordats to follow. It was kept general to get it ratified by the wide-spectrum ruling coalition at the time. The Vatican waited a couple of years until two of the four parties in the new cabinet had the word “Christian” in their names before spelling out the details in later concordats.

Law to make concordats into human rights treaties with precedence over national laws (2001)

This law attempts set concordats with the Vatican above domestic legislation by claiming that they are "international treaties on human rights"[!]

Concordat on the armed forces (2002) text

The military is a closed society with an authoritarian structure, a good setting for proselytising, as the Evangelicals have also found in the US Air Force. Military chaplains, originally employed to pray for victory, are regarded by the Church as important enough to be the subject of whole concordats. On the basis of this treaty, an ordinariate of the military and police was created on the level of a diocese, and an ordinary on the level of a bishop was appointed.

Concordat on Catholic education (2004) text

This concordat secures full state funding for Church-controlled schools and Catholic religious education, even in state schools is to begin at the pre-school level. The Vatican treaty also allows Church schools, which receive the same funding as state ones, to edit out course material that conflicts with Catholic doctrine.

Concordat on the Right to Conscientious Objection: Draft text (2004) and Submission Report

The "conscience concordat" was called by the liberal ANO party the "discrimination treaty". It would commit the Slovak government to protect only the strict scruples held by a small minority of the most conservative Catholic, and to let these override any other type of conscience, including that of liberal Catholics. In fact, EU lawyers warned that the claims of "Catholic conscience" as put forth here could even take precedence over certain human rights.


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