Holy Slovakia

  • post Type / Campaigns
  • Date / 12 July 2004

Slovakia is one of the smallest of the nations that have recently joined the EU. It has a Concordat with the Vatican that may serve as a deterrent, showing how concordats can completely annihilate democracy, despite the existence of a democratic Constitution.

The “Basic Treaty” with the Holy See (the Concordat) contains provisions never before accepted by any other nation, which covertly or openly replace civil laws in Slovakia by some provisions of canonical law. Further concessions to the Vatican are embodied in the provisions enabling additional clauses to the concordat to be ratified by parliament, thus allowing complete dependence on the Vatican to be to smuggled in by such “amendments”.

One such amendment mandated compulsory lessons on religion or ethics starting from the first year of primary school. This is contrary to basic human rights, which while allowing children the right of access to religious teaching, would nevertheless prevent their being forced to undergo such teaching.

Some articles of the treaty stress the right of Catholic Church to enforce its rules on all Slovak citizens, regardless of their personal beliefs. For example:
Art 2 (2)
The Holy See claims the right for the Catholic church to use every suitable means to exert moral influence on the citizens of the Slovak Republic for the benefit of all in accordance with principles of Catholic teaching and within the legal system of the Slovak republic.

(Comment: In a way typical of any fundamentalist regime, Slovakia has recognised a single source of ethics for all citizens, regardless of their individual beliefs.)

Article 7
The Slovak Republic acknowledges the right of everyone to act according to their conscience as allowed by the creed and moral principles of the Catholic Church. The extent and conditions of this right will be specified by an international treaty between the contracting parties.

(Comment: this ruling makes the moral teachings of the Catholic church the only valid basis for the right of conscientious objection for everyone and takes no account of dissent from Catholic ethics.)

Article 9.
The Slovak Republic will acknowledge as days of rest Sundays and the
following days:
{A list of 26days, almost entirely Catholic Holy Days}

(Comment: This is a formal issue; it nevertheless confirms the Fundamentalist religious attitude of the Slovak state, and at the same time contradicts international law according to which nobody can be forced to any formal expression of religious creed which is not his own belief.)

About 40 % of Slovak citizens are not followers of Catholicism. The basic treaty is going to force them into formal expression of a religious creed that is alien and unacceptable to them.

There are many other privileges for Catholicism that illustrate the fundamentalist trend in Slovakia. The most dangerous of them is the pending agreement on conscientious objection, which will permit Catholics to exercise a right to civil disobedience, in case of a conflict between the demands of the state and the precepts of the Church.

The Concordat imposes Catholic ethics on all citizens, the religious indoctrination of children in public schools and the financing of church activities from general taxation. This treaty has definitely robbed Slovakia of its sovereignty and made it a de facto colony of Vatican

A.Reh�k, Prometheus Society of Slovakia

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