From the Church Law Society


The 17th Annual Conference on State and Church in Brno Is Being Prepared


The annual Conference on State and Church is being prepared by the Department of Constitutional Law and Political Science of the Law School of Masaryk University in Brno and the Brno chapter of the Church Law Review under the leadership of JUDr. Kateřina Šimáčková, Ph.D., and Mgr. Petr Jäger. The Conference will také place on 6 September 2011 and the theme will be The Legal Aspects of Church Financing. Updated information about the Conference is available at


Congratulations to the Members of the Church Law Society


ThDr. Jiří Svoboda, IC.D., a leading Czech expert on canon law, who was the head of the Church Court in Prague for two decades, celebrated his 70th birthday on 20 March 2011. Currently he is Dean of the Metropolitan Capitula of St. Vitus and the vice-official of the Metropolitan Church Court in Prague. He is a founding member of the Church Law Review and authored articles on legal history and canon law that were published in the Church Law Review.


Ad multos annos!


PhDr. Vácslav Babička, the director of the department of archival administration of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic, and the former director of the State Central Archive in Prague, received the Austrian Honorary Cross for Science and the Arts, First Class, on 28 April 2011. He received the award from the Ambassador of the Austrian Republic, H. E. Mr. Ferdinand Trauttmansdorff.


Brief News


The New Bishop of Hradec Králové: Mons. Jan Vokál


On 3 March 2011 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Mons. JUDr. Ing. Jan Vokál, JU.D., as the new Bishop of Hradec Králové. Mons. Vokál was born in 1958 in Hlinsko in Bohemia and since 2005 has been the honorary canon of the Cathedral Capitula of the Holy Spirit in Hradec Králové. Mons. Vokál, a doctor of both laws of the Pontifi cal Lateran University in Rome (JU.D., 2008), received a doctoral degree in the fi eld of law and legal science from the Law School of Charles University in Prague (JUDr., 2009). He was consecrated in Rome on 7 May 2011 and assumed his functions on 14 May 2011 in the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Hradec Králové. We congratulate him.


The 46th Conference Essener Gespräche zum Thema Staat und Kirche


The Conference on State and Church, organized by the Essen Diocese every year in Mülheim an der Ruhr, took place this year on 27 – 29 March 2011. The konference was attended by 125 experts from Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. The theme of the conference was the area of employment law that applies in Germany to churches with public law status. A detailed report by JUDr. Záboj Horák, Ph.D., is published in this issue of the Church Law Review.


Teaching Religion in Russia


The internet page announced the following news on 29 March 2011:


Moscow Religion will be a subject taught in Russian schools starting in 2012. In the past four months a pilot project was completed during which religion was taught in selected Russian schools, and starting in 2012 religion will be taught as a year-long subject in schools throughout Russia. The announcement was made by the Russian Ministry of Education at a press conference in the presence of representatives of the four major religions who participated in the project. Religion returns to the school curriculum for the fi rst time since the fall of the Soviet Union. Students at elementary schools and high schools will be able to choose whether they will attend courses on orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism or Buddhism, or one of the general coursesBasics of Religious CultureorBasics of Public Ethics.” “It is still necessary to solve problems with texts, which were created very rapidly, and also with the training of teachers,” said Elena Romanova, who is from the Russian Ministry of Education. „It did not create any religious confl ict – not at all; we noticed a change in the behavior of children who attended religious courses,“ commented Vsevolod Chaplin, of the department for external relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. Representatives of religious minorities in the country have reservations against the initiative, which they view as an attempt by the Kremlin to solidify orthodox Christianity as the building block of the Russian national identity.