The Czech Bishops’ Conference has filed a criminal complaint against
unknown individuals over possible sexual abuse within the church, a legal
representative of the Roman Catholic organisation, Ronald Němec, said on
The Catholic Church has been trying without success to uncover individuals accused of sexual abuse, Mr. Němec said. However, claims have been made by a number of sources cited in the media so the church hierarchy decided last month to turn the matter over to the criminal authorities, he said.
Speaking on Sunday, the head of the church, Cardinal Dominik Duka, said that unless those making allegations of sexual abuse informed the church of the identity if the culprits it would not be able to take action.
The police is investigating the highest number of rapes in ten years, Czech
Radio reported. 525 rapes were reported in the first eight months of this
year which is a record number.
Experts say that thanks to the work of NGOs and the #MeToo campaign the stigma surrounding rape is gradually disappearing and more women have the courage to speak out.
Even so NGOs say that only a fraction of rapes gets reported in the Czech Republic, an estimated one in ten.
The Constitutional Court plans to review the rape conviction of a tantra
sex and yoga practitioner Jaroslav Dobeš, also known as ‘Guru Jára’,
the Czech News Agency reports.
Dobeš had fled in 2015 to the Philippines to avoid serving a 10-year sentence for rape. He was arrested there along with his associate Barbora Plašková, who was also sentenced.
While on the face of it ‘Guru Jára’ promised lessons in yoga, tantra and Eastern philosophy, in practice his female pupils were pressured into taking part in ritualised sex with him.
Dobeš and Plášková were originally sentenced by the Regional Court for six cases of rape. Both remain in immigration detention facilities in the Philippines.
Cardinal Dominik Duka has hit out at Prague’s mayor, Zdeněk Hřib, after
the latter compared efforts to return a Marian column to the city’s Old
Town Square to recreating a huge statue of Stalin that stood at Letná
Plain. In a letter, the head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church called on
Mr. Hřib to apologise for his words.
Cardinal Duka said the mayor had failed to realise the meaning of communist dictatorship and what Stalin symbolised.
A group of activists is pushing for the recreation of a Marian column that was torn down in 1918 by protesters who regarded it as a symbol of former Austrian rule. However, they do not have permits to erect a new monument.
Cardinal Dominik Duka reportedly plans to appeal a Brno city court’s
rejection of his criminal complaint against local theatre groups over the
staging of a play by Croatian director Oliver Frljić.
At one point in the Frljić play in question, called “Our Violence, Your Violence”, an actor depicting Jesus rapes a Muslim woman. In another scene, a naked Muslim woman slowly pulls a bloody Czech national flag out of her vagina.
Cardinal Duka says the play, performed last year, amounted to an attack on his rights to freedom of religion, dignity and honour as guaranteed under the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The Brno city court ruled that the scenes were allegorical and could not be seen as violating anyone’s individual rights. Czech Television reports Cardinal Duka plans to file an appeal with the Brno district court.
Milan Badal, a priest and personal secretary to Cardinal Dominik Duka of
Prague, has died at the age of 62.
He had long worked as the head of External Relations the Prague Archbishopric and was known for making some controversial statements and criticism of Islam.
Badal was secretly ordained under Communism and entered the Dominican Order.
Cardinal and Archbishop of Prague, Dominik Duka has expressed regret in
connection with claims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of České
Budějovice. An investigative report conducted by journalists from the
online television Seznam TV brought interviews with women claiming to have
been sexually abused by church officials and presented evidence that
bishops in the diocese remained inactive despite being aware of the crimes.
Cardinal Duka released a statement on the church’s website expressing regret and shock over the cases of sexual abuse, which take place here and across the world. The Cardinal went on to say that he is aware of the overly long judicial processes on the state and church level and that it is necessary to work on a substantial change.
In their report, Seznam journalists found evidence that the testimony of one victim being repeatedly raped by a priest from the Diocese of České Budějovice started being investigated in 2009, but only achieved progress last year once it was brought up to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The Prague Municipal Court has sentenced three Algerian men for the gang
rape of an Irish tourist and other crimes and banned them from entering the
country for varying periods. The judgment is final, subject only to an
appeal to the Czech Supreme Court.
The victim met one of her attackers, Tajíb Banjittú, early last April and agreed to go back to his room in a tourist hostel in Prague 1. Once there, he and five other men raped her, she told police.
Six suspects, all men in their twenties, were arrested in a police raid at the hostel and later appeared in court, where they pleading innocent. Three were acquitted.
Tajíb Banjittú was sentenced to 6 years in prison and expelled from the Czech Republic indefinitely. Muhammad Habib Uld Ajsu, who was convicted of possessing narcotics and psychotropic substances, got 4.5 years and was expelled for 10 years. Zakariah Uld Ajsa was sentenced to 3 years in prison and expelled for 10 years.
Czech Cardinal Dominik Duka has issued a criminal complaint against
perpetrators of sex abuse within the Czech Catholic Church whose acts were
documented in an investigative report on Czech Television’s programme
According to a spokesman, Cardinal Duka also wants to appeal to members of Parliament to draft an amendment to the criminal code that would make reporting rape and sexual abuse of minors compulsory.
Last week he and 100 other senior Catholic bishops attended a special summit in Rome focused on sexual abuse within the clergy. According to Cardinal Duka, the Czech Catholic Church currently registers roughly one case of alleged abuse every three years. However, most perpetrators receive a suspended sentence due to a lack of evidence.
Pope Francis this month publicly acknowledged the scandal of priests and bishops sexually abusing nuns and has vowed to do more to fight the problem. The issue came to the fore amid the Catholic Church’s overall reckoning with the sexual abuse of minors. Here in the Czech Republic, Cardinal Dominik Duka – who in the past has characterized such scandals as attacks on the church – has now agreed under pressure to meet some of the victims face to face.