The Pope asks Czech Protestants to forgive
Monday 22 May 1995
Addressing a rain-swept crowd in the Moravian town of Olomouc, the Pope denied that the canonisation of Jan Sarkander was aimed at "reopening old wounds," and said it would bring Christians closer together.However, he acknowledged the unease felt by many over the canonisation.
"I ask forgiveness for the wrongs inflicted on non-Catholics during the turbulent history of these peoples," the Pope said, adding that, for its part, the Catholic Church would forgive those that had wronged its flock.
Czech Protestants say Sarkander helped invading Polish Catholic armies in the bitter power struggle against Moravian and Bohemian Protestants in the early 17th century and is not suitable for canonisation. Many Czech Catholics admitted that although Sarkander had been imprisoned and tortured to death by the Protestants, he was not an ideal candidate.
Despite bad weather, an estimated 150,000 attended the ceremony, which also saw the uncontroversial canonisation of the 13th-century noblewoman Zdislava de Lemberk.
Most observers agreed that the response to the Pope's visit to Olomouc yesterday and to Prague on Saturday was considerably less fervent than the reaction to his visit in 1990 to what was then Czechoslovakia, only six months after the collapse of the Communist regime.
Today, the Pope is due to return to his native Poland for the fifth time since becoming Pope in 1978. There, in addition to visiting Skoczow, the birthplace of Sarkander, he is also expected to meet President Lech Walesa and the Prime Minister, Jozef Oleksy.
- 1 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 2 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
- 3 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
- 4 News agency criticised for describing Amal Clooney as 'actor's wife' in coverage of human rights trial
- 5 David De Gea to Real Madrid: Real finally get their man with £29m bid for Manchester United goalkeeper
Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
News agency criticised for describing Amal Clooney as 'actor's wife' in coverage of human rights trial
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...
£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...
£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...