Friday, June 16, 2006

Catholic Church wins

Figure 1: Prague Castle

The object in the middle of the picture is the St. Vitus Cathedral. Half an hour ago, an appeal court has made the final decision in the 14-year-long dispute between the Czech state and the Catholic Church: the Catholic Church has not lost its ownership rights just because of 45 years of communism, and will therefore continue to be the owner of the rather well-known building - which is why some people might find the news interesting.

Although I am an atheist, much like most of the citizens of that country, the decision seems satisfactory to me because whatever you think about the Church, it is still them who have built these buildings mostly because of their own spiritual motivations, while the regime that took over for 45 years was building very different things - the ugly subset of these concrete blocks - and should still be treated as an unwelcome fluctuation.

The immediate reason behind the decision was that the communists were not able to obey the required procedures in 1954 how to transfer cathedrals from the Church to the state. They did not care because they believed that their "people's democratic system" would control the country forever. They were not right - but of course my opinion is determined by very different things than the sloppiness of some communist secretaries in 1954.

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