Nine Catholic Clergy Convicted of Trying to Overthrow Czechoslovakian Government Hot

Nine Catholic Clergy Convicted of Trying to Overthrow Czechoslovakian Government

Map of Czechoslovakia, 1969-1990
Source: Panonian

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Nine Catholic clergy are convicted of trying to overthrow the government in Czechoslovakia. A tenth was only found guilty of failing to report the activities of the other nine. Dr. Jan Mastilak is sentenced to life in prison and the others are sentenced to prison from 9 to 25 years.

According to the official Czech news agency, Mastilak pleaded partly guilty and "described all his activities in an innocent light, much more innocent than his previous (pre-trial) statements indicate."

Augustin Machalka, Abbot of the Premonstrate Monastery at Nova Rise is quoted as testifying that he participated in the "gathering of firearms and the distribution of illegal leaflets" for anti-state activity after the communist coup in February, 1948. He says he followed orders from the Vatican because he believes "it only has religious, not political aims" and

"I promised I would obey the instructions of my church superiors about whom I was persuaded that they were good people who had no base intentions."

Bohumil Vit Tajowsky, Abbot of the Premonstrate Monastery at Zeliv, also says "I had promised obedience to the Pope."

Machalka is sentenced to 25 years imprisonment. They are all ordered to pay the costs of the trial and imprisonment. All their property is confiscated and they are all denied any rights as citizens for up to 10 years.

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