Bishop Dominik Duka of Hradec Kralove, 66, succeeds Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, 77, who has retired for reasons of age.
Dominik Duka was born in 1943. He entered the Dominican Order, making his temporary profession in 1969, and receiving priestly ordination the next year.
For five years he worked in several parishes in Prague, and made his perpetual vows in 1972.
Three years later, he was deprived of authorization to exercise his priestly ministry, and was forced to work in a car factory in Plzen for almost 15 years (until 1989).
Meanwhile, he worked in secret within his congregation as master of novices and professor of theology.
He was imprisoned in Plzen between 1981 and 1982, according to the biography issued by the Vatican press office.
After the fall of Communism, he was elected president of the Federal Conference of Major Superiors and, from 1992 to 1996 was vice-president of the Union of European Conferences of Major Superiors.
From 1990 to 1999 he was a professor in the faculty of theology of Palacky University in Olomouc. On June 6, 1998, Pope John Paul II appointed him bishop of Hradec Kralove.