Exhibition Opening in Rome

6. 12. 2012

The exhibition maps persecution of the Roman Catholic Church by the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. In twenty four panels, the authors of the exhibition try to show ways and methods used to destroy spiritual life of Czech and Slovak society, as well as the attempt of the Church to face the pressures on the part of the representatives of the regime with dignity.

The main intention of the exhibition (24 panels altogether), which was organized by the Embassy of the Czech Republic at the Holy See, the Archive of the Office of the President of the Czech Republic, and the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, is to map the breadth of the persecution of the Roman Catholic Church by the totalitarian regime in Czechoslovakia and to describe the instruments of power as well as concrete methods used for the destruction of the Church or spiritual life of society and also ways by means of which the Church faced those pressures. Historical connections are presented in a supranational context with the Czechoslovak-Vatican aspects emphasized, including the fates of persons working in exile (e.g. Josef Cardinal Beran, Tomáš Cardinal Špidlík). Last but not least, the exhibition brings so far unpublished documents (e.g. a personal letter of John Paul II to G. Husák) and photographs (e.g. from the spying on church representatives and the Catholic dissent by the communist secret police).

At the same time, the exhibition stresses spiritual traditions connected with reverence for our national saints and the context of the development of our catholic environment within its relation to papacy, which will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the II Vatican Council. The emphasis on the spiritual legacy that came up from the legacy of missionaries, Saints Cyril and Methodius, is one of the contributions of the Czech archivists and historians to the upcoming 1150th anniversary of the arrival of their mission in 2013.

The exhibition was supported by the Czech Bishops’ Conference. Among partners of this project there are important scientific institutions of the Czech Republic – apart from others the National Archive and the Institute of History, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. It is held under the honorary auspices of Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, the State Secretary of the Holy See; Miroslava Němcová, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic; Dominik Cardinal Duka, the Archbishop of Prague and Primate of Bohemia; and Prof. Jiří Drahoš, the President of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

Basic information about the exhibition:

The team of authors: Petr Koura, David Lorenc, Alena Nosková, Jan Stříbrný, Jaroslav Šebek, Alena Šimánková, Vladimíra Vaníčková, Stanislava Vodičková
Curator of the exhibition: Vladimíra Vaníčková
Translation: Pavla Krejčířová
Graphics: Pavel Vodička
Acknowledgements: Authors thank to all co-workers, institutions, religious orders and congregations for the provision of the originals of the documents and for their selfless help.

The Roman Meeting of Science and Faith


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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)

We cooperate

  • Senát PČRVláda ČR
    Poslanecká sněmovna PČRMinisterstvo kultury ČR
    Ministerstvo školství, mládeže a tělovýchovy ČRMinisterstvo zahraničních věcí ČR
    Česká biskupská konferenceAkademie věd České republiky
    Zlínský krajVelvyslanectví ČR při Svatém stolci
  • Jihomoravský krajOlomoucký kraj
    Římskokatolická farnost VelehradObec Velehrad
    Město Uherské HradištěMěsto Staré Město
    Město HodonínPravoslavná církev v českých zemích a na Slovensku
    Centrála cestovního ruchu Východní MoravyPETARDA PRODUCTION, a.s.
  • Three Brothers s.r.o.Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci
    Masarykova univerzitaUniverzita Karlova v Praze
    Slovácké muzeum v Uherském HradištiMoravské zemské muzeum v Brně
    Muzeum umění OlomoucCentrum Aletti
    Masarykovo muzeum v HodoníněCzechTourism