Beáta Katrebová Blehová: Bishop Pavol Hnilica from the Perspective of the State Security

Activities of secretly ordained Bishop Pavol Hnilica in the Slovak exile in the free world for the benefit of persecuted Church behind the Iron Curtain, his significant position in relation to the Holy See under pontificates of Paul VI and John Paul II, and finally also his numerous contacts with Slovakia over the Iron Curtain were subject to a concentrated interest of the Czechoslovak State Security during the entire time when the Communist totalitarian regime was in power. State Security's interest in the activities of Bishop Hnilica was most intensive in the 60s, especially in relation to the Second Vatican Council and an extraordinary position of the Bishop to the Pope Paul VI. State Security monitored his activities into details in the period from 1964 to 1974; there is a special monitoring file under a cover name "METÓD" (in English Methodius) which can be found in the Study Institute of the Archive of Security Services in Prague. The study aims to analyse the interest of the Communist regime in Bishop Hnilica on the basis of available State Security's files, who had continuously been living in the exile from 1951 to 1989 and could not travel to Czechoslovakia; to map information State Security gathered about him, and to use this example to document a radically hostile attitude of the regime towards Bishop Hnilica, Slovak Catholic exile as such, and finally towards the Roman-Catholic Church.

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