Slovak Marks 50 Years as a Bishop

NITRA, Slovakia, AUG. 27, 2001 ( Slovak Cardinal Jan Korec, who secretly became a bishop at age 27, celebrated his 50th episcopal anniversary in the old Cathedral of Nitra.

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Leading Church leaders from Eastern Europe were on hand for the event last Friday. Among them was Bishop Pavel Hnilica, who ordained Jan Chryzostom Korec a bishop on the night of Aug. 24, 1951.

Born in Bosany in 1924, Jan Korec became a priest in secret in 1950, and a bishop less than 11 months later.

Officially, he continued to work as an employee in a Bratislava chemical firm. In 1960 he was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his priestly activity. Bishop Korec was released after eight years of imprisonment.

John Paul II appointed him bishop of Nitra in 1990, and just over a year later made him a cardinal.

Cardinal Korec is the author of numerous works on spirituality, Church history and theological issues.

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