A basic concordat agreed in 2000 sparked debates and arguments, which meant that some of its chapters, especially those concerning the funding of churches, and those dealing with conscientious objection, had to be removed. These chapters later turned into partial, more detailed treaties with the Vatican on Catholic education in schools, state financing of Catholic schools, and Catholic chaplains in the police and army.. The new law on conscientious objection goes much further in entrenching church influence in areas from Sunday working to contraception.

Texts of Slovak concordats

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.

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” would commit the Slovak government to protect only orthodox Catholic scruples, and to let them 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.

Concordats between Slovakia and the Holy See before 1950

Steps are being taken towards canonising Slovakia’s wartime president, Monsignor Josef Tiso (here shown 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.Most of the documents in this section are here available in 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 and birthday greetings wishing Hitler military success, and concludes with the texts of concordats which are meant to help restore that “ideal society” whose president was also a priest.

Modus Vivendi with Czechoslovakia (1928)

This agreement was made ten years after Czechoslovakia was founded as one of the successor states of Austria-Hungary. It was a diplomatic note needing no approval by the new country’s democratic parliament. The main thrust was to get state subsidies (Article 1) and to repeal the 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 would 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)

Concordats aim to return Slovak society to the “golden era” of Church control, when Hitler’s puppet regime in Slovakia was led by a Catholic priest, Msgr. Tiso at the head of 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 have led the nation to morality and defended it against every pernicious foreign influence. […] The Slovak Catholic priests were the first who waged war against Judeo-Marxism”.


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