Bratislava, August 12 (TASR) – Cardinal Jozef Tomko was a great spiritual figure and one of the most important personalities in Slovakia, stated President Zuzana Caputova, who came to pay homage to the late cardinal as his coffin was displayed in St. Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava on Friday.
Tomko was also commemorated in the cathedral by Parliamentary Chair Boris Kollar (We Are Family), Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OLaNO) and hundreds of other people.
“He was a person who enjoyed the trust of four popes, and Slovakia will miss him,” said the head of state, noting that Tomko did a lot for the Church and was always interested in the present and future of Slovakia. She also highlighted his ever-present humanity and empathy. “I express my sincere condolences, to his loved ones, but also to the whole of Slovakia because it’s really a great loss for all of us,” said Caputova.
According to Kollar, both the Church and Slovakia have lost a great personality. “He was a wonderful person, our highest church authority, who worked for so long in the Vatican. We were able to approach him, he knew how to advise us, help us, he always stood behind us,” stated the parliamentary chair, adding that the cardinal will be given a state award on September 1.
Heger in particular highlighted Tomko’s humility, but also his contribution to the development of the Church and the good name of Slovakia. “He was an exceptional personality, and, as an important church representative working in the Vatican, he never forgot where he came from,” he said, stressing that the cardinal was a wise and humble man, full of love, who carried Slovakia in his heart. “The greatness he achieved came precisely through his humility, love and hard work,” said the premier. According to him, Tomko’s personality is a great role model for current and future generations in Slovakia.
Tomko, who was the oldest member of the College of Cardinals, passed away at the age of 98 on Monday (August 8) in his flat in Rome. He will be buried in a tomb in St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral in Kosice.