Cathedral for the Church
St.Vitus Cathedral again belongs to the Catholic Church. A dispute between the Church and the state, which started in 1989, was settled on 25 October 2005. A district court in Prague ruled that the St.Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle belongs to the Catholic Church.
After the communists had assumed power in 1948 all religious communities were deprived of their properties. In 1954 it was announced that the cathedral belonged to the state. A court ruling assigned the cathedral to the church in 1994, which was much protested. An appeals court overturned that verdict.
St.Vitus Cathedral is a burial place of the Czech kings and of many saints. It is located in the estate of Prague Castle, currently the house of the President of the Czech Republic. In 1996 the Catholic Church decided to 'donate' the cathedral to the nation, which aroused further controversies. Cardinal Miroslav Vlk, Archbishop of Prague, said that the cathedral was not worthy of legal disputes and therefore, the Church decided to withdraw the claims. He stressed that the sanctuary, which is 650 years old, was a historical monument of the whole Czech nation and should remain its property.
He also stated the condition that the decree of 1954 should be revoked and a new legal ruling concerning the property had to be issued. He demanded that the cathedral should be administered by the Church and that the Church would use freely the cathedral for religious purposes. However, the agreement was not concluded. Consequently, the Church took legal steps again, which have been a success this year.