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Letter from Bishop Dušan re Czech Census

THE BISHOP OF THE OLD CATHOLIC CHURCH IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

Prague, 18 March 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It was at its own request (and with the awareness of the Diocese in Europe), when the Anglican Episcopal congregation in Prague was registered, under Czech law, as a parish of the Old Catholic Church for English-speaking worshippers on 13 March 1999. A year later, a Covenant was entered into between the Bishop of the Church of England Diocese in Europe and the Bishop of the Old Catholic Church in the Czech Republic. Under the Covenant, the Anglican Episcopal congregation (St. Clement’s) became a parish within the Old Catholic Church in the Czech Republic with special statutes that recognize its differences.

Since then, we have been on our way together, becoming an example for other European countries where Anglicans and Old Catholics are living together and helping each other and showing the direction for ecumenical relationships of the future.

I sincerely believe that our shared community has been for everyone – as for myself – a source of joy, not pain.

Every ten years, the census is taking place in the Czech Republic. Every person will be subject to in on the 25th of March. It is of utmost importance that all believers belonging to any church registered under Czech laws express their religious affiliation.

Therefore I would like to humbly ask you, the legal members of a parish of the Old Catholic Church, to register your religious affiliation accordingly. Although this is a non-mandatory part of the census questionnaire, it brings an important testimony about the fact that in this country which is deemed to be the most atheistic in Europe, Christians are not merely an unimportant marginal grouping not to be taken seriously. I invite you to bear witness of our joint appreciation of the distance we have walked together in the last twelve years as well as witness that we all belong to our Lord:

“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Mt 10, 32-33)

I am sending you my very best wishes of every blessing during the time of preparation for the holy days of our Redemption and will remain with you in my prayers.

The peace of Christ be with you!

Yours

+Dušan