Dominik Duka

His Eminence
Dominik Duka
Cardinal, Archbishop of Prague
Primate of Bohemia
Archdiocese Prague
See Prague
Appointed 13 February 2010
Installed 10 April 2010
Predecessor Miloslav Vlk
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of Santi Marcellino e Pietro
Ordination 22 June 1970
by Štěpán Trochta SDB
Consecration 26 September 1998
by Karel Otčenášek
Created Cardinal 18 February 2012
by Benedict XVI
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Born (1943-04-26) 26 April 1943
Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
Nationality Czech
Previous post
  • Bishop of Hradec Králové (1998–2010)
  • Apostolic Administrator of Litoměřice (2004–2008)
  • In Spiritu Veritatis
  • (In the Spirit of Truth)
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Styles of
Dominik Duka
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

Dominik Jaroslav Duka O.P. (born 26 April 1943, Hradec Králové, Bohemia (now Czech Republic) is the 36th Archbishop of Prague[1][2] and a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.[3] He previously served as Bishop of Hradec Králové.

Early years

Duka was born in 1943 in Hradec Králové, the son of an Officer (and firefighter) who was based at RAF Cosford during the war. On 6 January 1969 he made temporary profession in the Dominican Order and on 22 June 1970 he was ordained a priest. For five years he worked in various parishes of the archdiocese of Prague and, on 7 January 1972, he made his solemn profession in the Dominican Order.

In 1975, the Communist government of Czechoslovakia deprived him of the authorisation for the sacred ministry. For almost fifteen years – until the regime collapsed in 1989 – Duka worked as a designer at the factories of Škoda at Plzeň. In the meantime, he worked in secret in the Order as a novice master and teacher of theology. He studied at the Theological Faculty of Litoměřice. In 1979, he obtained a licentiate in theology at the Theological Faculty of St. John the Baptist in Warsaw, Poland. In 1981/82, he was jailed in Plzeň. From 1986 to 1998 he was Provincial of the Dominicans in Bohemia and Moravia. [4]

After the Revolutions of 1989, Duka was elected Federal President of the Conference of Major Superiors and in the years 1992–1996, Vice-President of the Union of European Conferences of Major Superiors. From 1990–99, he was a lecturer in the Faculty of Theology at the Palacký University in Olomouc, teaching Introduction to Sacred Scripture and biblical anthropology. [5]


On 6 June 1998 he was appointed bishop of Hradec Králové and received episcopal consecration on 26 September 1998. On 13 February 2010, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him archbishop of Prague. Duka was formally installed in Prague's St. Vitus Cathedral. On his appointment, Duka said that:

"The Church must engage in a dialogue with society and must seek reconciliation with it. Twenty years ago, we were euphoric about freedom; today we live in an economic and financial crisis, and also to a certain extent in a crisis of values. So the tasks are going to be a little more difficult. But thanks to everything that’s been done, it will not be a journey into the unknown."[6]

One of Archbishop Duka's chief concerns was the long-standing issue of the restitution of church property, which had been confiscated by the communist regime, and which were either never fully returned or for which the church was never compensated. The Czech Republic is one of the last countries in Europe not to have ratified a treaty with the Holy See.[6] After previous attempts at an agreement had failed – most notably in 2008 under Cardinal Vlk – the Czech government in mid-January 2012 agreed to a compensation plan, under which the country's seventeen churches, including Catholic and Protestant, would get 56% of their former property now held by the state – estimated at 75 billion koruna ($3.7 billion) — and 59 billion koruna ($2.9 billion) in financial compensation paid to them over the next thirty years. The state will also gradually stop covering their expenses over the next seventeen years.[7]


On 18 February 2012, Archbishop Duka was made Cardinal-Priest of Santi Marcellino e Pietro. On 21 April 2012, he was appointed to the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.[8]

He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2013 papal conclave that selected Pope Francis.

Cardinal Duka contributed to a book "Eleven Cardinals Speak on Marriage and the Family" which urged fellow church leaders to maintain the church's rules regarding marriage and strengthen Catholic education about marriage and family life. The book was released before the world Synod of Bishops on the family in October 2015.[9]

In May 2016, Duka claimed that the pope can’t fully understand the refugee crisis because he is not from Europe.[10]

Czech cardinal had several clashes with a Templeton winner Mons. Tomáš Halík. In August 2015, Duka banned a conference by Sr Jeannine Gramick, an American nun specialising in pastoral care for gays and lesbians, as well as screening a Polish film about a homosexual priest. In a statement setting out his objections, Duka said: “Most participants are not believers and have no intention of addressing their relationship with the Church. Since I do not think people with this sexual orientation are discriminated against in our country, it is not right for us to advocate things which are in direct conflict with the Catholic Church’s teachings.”[11]

In 2016, Halík critized that Duka has disassociated from the pope and has too close to the Czech president Miloš Zeman.[12] They don't agree on relation to Islam and his “violent tendencies”.[13]

Czech prominent Catholic priest, professor Tomáš Halík criticises Cardinal Duka also in October 2016 over award acceptance of the highest state award from President Milos Zeman.[14] "On the October 28 national holiday, when Milos Zeman was bestowing a medal on Dominik Duka for his support for Milos Zeman, I remembered the words a former pope commented on the death of Cardinal Richelieu. He said if God exists, the cardinal will probably have a lot to explain to him; if God does not exist, the cardinal did his job perfectly," told Halík to daily Právo. "I would be ashamed to accept an award from Milos Zeman. However, Cardinal Duka seems to have got on a train he will never have the courage to leave. This makes me sorry." [15]



  1. "České katolíky povede Duka, papež mu svěřil úřad arcibiskupa" (in Czech). iDnes. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  2. Press Office of the Holy See
  3. "Z Dominika Duky je kardinál. Jmenoval ho papež Benedikt XVI" (in Czech). Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  6. 1 2 The Vatican appoints Dominik Duka new archbishop of Prague
  14. Holocaust survivor denied Czech award in government spat
  15. Právo: Tomáš Halík criticises Cardinal Duka over awardávo-tomáš-hal%C3%ADk-criticises-cardinal-duka-over-award
  16. Kardinál Duka sloužil mši svatou pro lazariány

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Karel Otcenášek
Bishop of Hradec Kralove
1998  2010
Succeeded by
Jan Vokál
Preceded by
Miloslav Vlk
Archbishop of Prague
2010  present
Preceded by
Aloysius Ambrozic
Cardinal-Priest of
Santi Marcellino e Pietro

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