Jan Graubner becomes the new Archbishop of Prague. He will replace Cardinal Grief

Archbishop Jan Graubner of Olomouc becomes the new Archbishop of Prague. The Vatican announced this on its website on Friday. He will replace Cardinal Dominic Duka as head of the Archdiocese of Prague, who several years ago passed the age of 75, when church officials traditionally resign.

“At noon, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed the 37th Archbishop of Prague and the 25th Czech Primate J. Exc. mons. Jan Graubner, current Archbishop of Olomouc and Metropolitan of Moravia. announced at noon on the Vatican website at noon.

President Milos Zeman also congratulated Graubner in a letter he sent on Friday. “In my opinion, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of continuity in the Czech Church, where tradition is a strong anchor in times of great world crisis,” he wrote, wishing him much strength for his new position. The president also sent a letter to Cardinal Duke, which he thanked for his services to date.

Recently, there has been speculation that the Duka could be replaced by one of the diocesan bishops, such as Tomáš Holub of Pilsen or Jan Vokál of Hradec Králové. There is also talk of someone outside the current bishops’ corps, such as the deputy dean of the Charles University Faculty of Catholic Theology, Jaroslav Bro, the rector of the Archbishop’s Seminary, Jan Kotas, or several other priests of the Prague archdiocese.

The current Archbishop of Grief was appointed to the position in February 2010. He replaces Miloslav Vlk, who decided to step down because of his age. Grief remained in office for four years longer than usual. Pope Francis asked him to do so in response to his resignation. Church dignitaries usually leave their posts at the age of 75, and Grief resigns as Archbishop of Prague at the age of 79.

According to the Code of Ecclesiastical Law, Graubner, who will turn 74 this year, must also step down from his post next August. He will reach the age of 75 years. However, it is possible that popes, such as Cardinal Grief, will ask him to serve.

The announcement of the new Archbishop of Prague comes shortly after the appointment of the new Apostolic Nuncio to the Czech Republic, Jude Thaddeus Okola. His predecessor, Charles Daniel Balva, was assigned by the pope to a new diplomatic mission in Australia. However, according to church historians, the transfer of the nuncio was surprising at the time, as it took place before the appointment of the new archbishop of Prague.

The process for selecting the new Archbishop of Prague has been going on since the fall of 2018, when Charles Balvo came to the Czech Republic as a Vatican ambassador. He was chosen for this assignment probably because he was familiar with the Czech environment, as he worked in the nunciature of Prague from 1996 to 1999.

Although the final decision rests with the Holy See, the figure of the nuncio is very important in the entire selection process, as it is she who submits the names of the individual candidates to the Pope. Balvo stated to Aktuálně.cz that he consulted throughout the process with “a number of people, including bishops, priests, monks, nuns and lay people”.

Julia Craig

"Certified bacon geek. Evil social media fanatic. Music practitioner. Communicator."

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