Cardinal Duka will make an appearance at the Cyrillo-Methodian conference

22. 2. 2013

Rome: Among the many events that are awaiting us in the year of celebrations of the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia, an international conference occupies an important place. It will take place under the auspices of Slovak Cardinal Jozef Tomko, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and Archbishop Cyril Vasiľ, Secretary of the Congregation for Eastern Churches who are, at the same time, its main organizers.

They invited not only experts in the legacy of the brothers from Solun to the conference but also significant theologians and representatives of the Catholic Church. The chairman of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, will be one of those who will present their contributions. He will talk about the relation between the translation of the Holy Scripture and the development of national cultures. The chair of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, Mons. Salvatore Fisichella, will introduce his view of the importance of Saints Cyril and Methodius for the new evangelization. The Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Dominik Duka, will lecture on the ecclesiological vision of Cyril and Methodius in relation to ecumenism, and Prof. Richard Čemus SJ will talk about the Byzantine-Slavonic mission as a religious and political phenomenon.

The contribution of Cyril and Methodius for Central European countries cannot be fully appreciated. For the first time, the whole Scripture was translated to a Slavic language, a missal and a psalter were created and the lives of the church fathers were translated. At the same time, the preface to the gospels – Proglas - was written. While according to historians Cyril was occupied rather with education of new priests and the translation of the Scripture, Methodius occupied himself with legal texts. In accordance with the Greek, Roman and Slavic common law, he created the first civil code in the territory of Moravia. After Cyril's death in Rome, Methodius obtained a permission to celebrate Slavic liturgy and he returned to Moravia as an archbishop for Moravia and Pannonia.

The full meaning of the Cyrillo-Methodian mission, which turned our ancestors to the cross, was developed by Pope Pius IX who, in 1863, based on a suggestion of the Archbishop of Olomouc, Bedřich of Fürstenberg, announced 5th July to be the feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius. Leo XIII in his encyclical "Grande munus" from 1880 speaks about the merits of Cyril and Methodius and Pius XI commemorated the meaning of the Cyrillo-Methodian tradition by the fact that in 1928 he bestowed the title of "Minor Basilica" on the Velehrad Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and in 1932, on request of the Archbishop of Olomouc, Leopold Prečan, he proclaimed brothers Cyril and Methodius co-patrons of the Velehrad basilica. All the steps of his predecesors were utilized by Pope John Paul II who proclaimed Cyril and Methodius co-patrons of Europe.


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  • Here are our roots.

    (Blessed John Paul II, 22nd April 1990, Velehrad)

    They wanted to become part of those nations and to share their destiny in everything. Here, in this place, at Velehrad, in Moravia, we can feel the historical legacy of the kingdom in a peculiar way – we can feel even those who became its keepers and guardians.

    (Blessed John Paul II)

  • For us, people of the present age, their apostolate contains even the elocution of the ecumenical appeal, i.e. to build unity again, in a peaceful reconciliation, which later after their deaths was heavily damaged, and in the first place the unity between the East and the West.

    (Blessed John Paul II)

  • Their work is also a very important contribution to the growth of the common Christian roots of Europe, which by their firmness and viability create one of the main contact points, which must be respected by every serious attempt at reunification of our continent in a new and topical way.

    (Blessed John Paul II)

  • The story of both brothers, Cyril and Methodius, is a distinct example of unity.

    Saints Cyril and Methodius contributed, to a great extent, to the building of Europe, not only regarding its Christian religious community but also concerning its civil and cultural unity.

    (Blessed John Paul II)

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