Common Bohemian Church

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Introduction

Common Bohemian Church stems in reform of Jan Hus and emancipation of Bohemian nation in so-called Bohemian Way.

As a result of changes imposed by Albrecht III. (*1651 – †1723), the second son of House Habsburg should be prepared for ecclesiastical career. The first Archbishop of Prague coming from Habsburgs was Dietrich in 1700, son of Albrecht III., introduced by pope Innocent XII.

The new pope, Clement XI, to interfere into Bohemian matters, found at 1704 a new archbishopric in Olmütz and put Moravian aristocrat Johann von und zu Schlick as an archbishop. As a reaction, king Albrecht III. had introduced in 1705 his son Dietrich as the highest church authority not only for Roman Catholics, but also for Protestants, he took the right to impose the church authorities by his royal decision. He also grabbed the Rome imposed archbishop in Olmütz and let him be arrested to demonstrate his power; then the prisoner was silently executed. It helped him to pacify Estates, who tried to find a new ally in Rome. Majority of Catholics in Bohemia split from Rome (except of Austrians in South Moravia) and followed loyally the new order. Also Protestant Churches mostly agreed to follow it (Moravian Brothers, Bohemian Brothers and Bohemian Unity). With these his acts, the so called Bohemian Way started.

Then, nephew of Dietrich, Johann, became new Archbishop of Prague by royal decree in 1747. But when Albrecht IV., brother of Johann, died, there was no possibility for Johann other than to let him be crowned as a king.

In his hands were now concentrated powers of king and of archbishop. He decided to go further in his father's steps. He abolished celibacy and proclaimed Common Bohemian Church (Ta Ólkmajna Pémiša Kirchna), holding both functions. That has not changed sooner then in 1795, when king Anton hold only title of Patriarch and let the Church on a council to choose new archbishop.

Next important change appeared in 1969, when queen Kristína initiated the disjunction of Church from state. CBC became self-financed organisation, which has a right to collect "ecclesial taxes". The formal head is still Patriarch/King, but has no rights. On the top of CBC hierarchy is Archbishop of Prague, than Bishops (Pryn, Olmyc, Preslau, Tešän, Paucän, Kénikrác, Lajtmeric, Putvajs) and individual parishes. Nowadays Archbishop is Hons Švorc.

http://ark.wz.cz/ib/patriarcha.png

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