Kosice, August 16 (TASR) – Cardinal and Archbishop Emeritus of Prague Dominik Duka, who led a requiem mass for Cardinal emeritus Jozef Tomko in St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral in Kosice on Tuesday, highlighted the importance and role played by the late cardinal in the Catholic Church.
“We’re saying farewell to a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who played not only a Slovak role during his life. “That is, in a way, the reason why I also want to thank him in this place, along with you,” said Duka.
According to him, Tomko was a support for the Catholic Church in the former Czechoslovakia, as evidenced by the documents held by the erstwhile communist secret service (the StB) and Czechoslovak intelligence services. “Their records give credit to a man who didn’t betray and didn’t defame his breast, as the poets say,” said the Czech cardinal.
Duka highlighted Tomko’s significant works and ecumenical activities in the post of general secretary of the Synod of Bishops and prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Nations. He stated that Tomko was a son of a nation that not only owned no colonies, but also knew what the loss of sovereignty and a lack of national and political freedom meant.
“These were the main issues that moved two-thirds of the world, and here Cardinal Jozef Tomko held a post informally called the ‘red pope’. Yes, he had the main say in selecting and appointing bishops, in establishing new dioceses and in determining basic conditions and relations between the Holy See and local churches in Africa, Asia and other regions,” said Duka in Slovak.
When recalling Tomko’s activities, Duka also mentioned the establishment of the Sts. Cyril and Methodius Institute in Rome, which provided much support for Slovak Catholicism in the preparation and formation of young priests. “We’re saying goodbye to a great son of Slovakia who spoke in the eastern-Slovak dialect until the end of his life. This is how he said goodbye to you on your last pilgrimage to Rome,” stated the Czech cardinal.
Cardinal Tomko’s died at the age of 98 in Rome earlier this month.