Prague, Apr. 18, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Yesterday the Archdiocese of Prague in the Czech Republic returned the cathedral of St. Vitus to the state, in accordance with an order by the country’s supreme court.
The cathedral, built by Charles IV in the second half of the 14th century, is located in the city’s castle, and a court battle over possession of the building has lasted the last 15 years. That battle still continues, despite what Catholic leaders see as a temporary victory for the government.
The Czech Communist regime seized the cathedral-- which is also under the patronage of Sts. Vaclav and Adalbert, in 1954-- The church has become a symbol of the unresolved problems involving Church demands for restitution of property confiscated by the former regime.
Cardinal Miloslav Vlk of Prague continues to deny the state's claim to ownership of the cathedral, and notes that although the government is now in possession, no legal agreement has been signed to transfer the building.
It's really not a surprise that the commies took the cathedral when they took over, but that the Church didn't get it back (at least for real) seems to be the surprise for me. I can see that they would have given some of the Church land away, that's happened all the time through history, but I'd hope the Prague officials would see the importance of this building.