President: Cardinal Tomko Gave Us Optimism and Hope

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President Zuzana Caputova, in the middle, at a requiem mass for Cardinal emeritus Jozef Tomko in St. Elizabeth's Cathedral in Kosice on August 16, 2022 (photo by TASR)

Kosice, August 16 (TASR) – For Slovakia, the death of Cardinal Jozef Tomko means the loss of a charismatic person, an important spiritual figure and a respected representative of the Catholic Church, said President Zuzana Caputova in her address during the funeral of the Slovak cardinal in St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral in Kosice on Tuesday.


“He went down in history as the Slovak with the highest position in the Vatican church hierarchy. But at the same time, he’s written in our hearts as one who gave us optimism and hope,” said the head of state.

Caputova stated that Tomko put his heart into faith and gave it a real human dimension. “He considered its mission to be to strengthen people and bring them together. In his understanding, faith was primarily based on trust and love – and there was also a place for atheists and followers of other religions. This is confirmed by his words: ‘Ecumenism is an obligation of faith for us believers. It is by the wish of Jesus Christ that all may be one”.

Following the funeral in the cathedral, Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OLaNO) and Parliamentary Chair Boris Kollar (We Are Family) praised what they called a dignified farewell for the late cardinal.

“He was a man of humanity, a man of faith who left us a very strong legacy of unification. I believe that it will sound very strong at this time,” Heger told reporters.

According to Kollar, every Slovak had great respect for Cardinal Tomko. “He was our highest-ranking church official at the Vatican. He knew how to support Slovakia, we could turn to him, he was faithful to Slovakia. God gave him enormous energy, a long life, creativity. He was a wonderful person, and I think that Slovakia, the people and the Church said a dignified farewell to him both in Bratislava and here in Kosice,” he stated.