Open letter to the Holy Father Benedict XVI.


Open letter to the Holy Father Benedict XVI.

His Holiness Benedict XVI,

we, Slovak Christian believers, have profound respect for your role as supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church and successor of Saint Peter here on earth. By means of this open letter we would like to address to you our acute and important request concerning your decision of removing the Archbishop of Trnava Msgr. Róbert Bezák.

Today, we are witnesses of historical moments here in Slovakia, with our Church shaping and deciding about its own character and nature.

Even outside Slovak national boundaries Emeritus Archbishop Msgr. Róbert Bezák is a symbol of a Church opening its door to non believers, by underscoring transparency of Church. For us, he is exactly one of the bishops who show the way of new evangelization.

We do care about the Church and we are convinced that the mode that led to removal of Msgr. Róbert Bezák does not put the Church under positive spotlights. Three years ago His Holiness named Msgr. Róbert Bezák as Archbishop of Trnava on the basis of his exemplary life, dedication, and self-sacrifice for the sake of the Church and society.

At the beginning of his mandate, the Archbishop Msgr. Róbert Bezák carried out an audit in the Trnava archdiocese and he found out several serious incongruities relating to finance and asset management during the years of his predecessors Msgr. Ján Sokol.  For this reason, he wrote to competent Vatican organs asking for help and assistance in order to solve all issues.

Unfortunately, instead of help and counsel, in February 2012 the competent organs sent an Apostolic Visitation to the Archdiocese of Trnava. The visitation team was led by the bishop Jan Baxant.

So far, here in Slovakia, no relevant arguments were found to confirm the accusations published and investigated under the “11 questions” submitted to Msgr. Róbert Bezák.

On 2 July 2012, His Holiness removed the archbishop Bezák from his office and a couple of months later, on 18 October 2012, His Holiness informed the archbishop Zvolenský, chairman of the Bishops Conference of Slovakia:

“I have been carefully and materially informed about this serious and worrying situation; after a long prayer I have been constrained to take a measure resulting from love and from my desire of renovation of efficient collegiality among you and right pastoral guidance in the archdiocese of Trnava, according to the genuine spirit of the Second Vatican Council. This year we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.”

We fully respect your decision and authority in the revocation of Archbishop Msgr. Róbert Bezák.

On the other hand, Róbert Bezák is long time known in Slovakia as a much appreciated person, not only within the Church but also at level of society as a whole. In the course of his life, Róbert Bezák has confirmed his deep moral integrity as a priest, member of his religious institute, preacher, confessor, teacher, trainer, university pedagogue, superior of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, and also as chairman of the Conference of Major Superiors of Religious Institutions in Slovakia. Róbert Bezák has an integral personality. He is known as a man of love, peace, goodness, and justice. During his 25-year long sacerdotal and pedagogical activity, none of his superiors have ever found anything that could challenge his moral credit or loyalty to ecclesiastic Magisterium.

With regard to generally known facts about the moral credit and human character of the Archbishop Bezák, we still cannot understand the unpublished reasons that led to his removal from office.

On 16 and 17 December 2012 Msgr. Bezák spoke out in mass media; he expressed motivated and coherent arguments about the fact that he was accused before the Holy See by unknown persons from Church context. He stated that the reason behind his accusations is also the fact that he asked Vatican competent authorities for help in solving some doubtful cash flow operations carried out by his predecessor, the Archbishop Msgr. Ján Sokol.

Archbishop Msgr. Bezák believes that he was not given the possibility to fairly defend himself; he also stated that so far he does not know the reason of his removal from office.

In the history of our Church we can find several cases of priests and bishops who were condemned and then rehabilitated in the course of the years.

We have motivated and strong suspects that Msgr. Róbert Bezák was falsely accused before His Holiness and very influential persons within the Church hatched a premeditated plot leading to his removal from office.

This case has been heavily mediatised and it certainly brings no good light for the Church in our country and in the Vatican. We are very worried about this.

At the light of the above reported reasons, we would like to courteously ask His Holiness to hear the call of the Slovak Catholics and retake into consideration all the facts that led to the revocation of Msgr. Róbert Bezák, by making public the reasons of the removal from office (if possible) and by meeting Msgr. Róbert Bezák in order to hear his voice and give him further instructions or hope of rehabilitation.

Yours sincerely, with love and respect.



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