Slovak Archbishop’s unexplained sacking prompts dismay, protests

For the first time time since Slovakia became independent in 1993, members of the Catholic congregation have launched public protests against a Vatican decision.

The reason for their ire was the Pope’s decision, communicated via a terse one-line statement, to dismiss one of Slovakia’s most popular bishops, Robert Bezák. Appointed archbishop of Trnava just three years ago, Bezák had come to be seen as a symbol of generational change in the Slovak church and was widely praised by believers for his reformist and open attitude. The Conference of Slovak Bishops (KBS) released a rather brief response following his dismissal.