Slovak Bishops Show Church's Love for Art

By Mariana Šarpatakyová

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ROME, FEB. 25, 2011 ( The Church celebrates the feast of Blessed Fra Angelico, patron of artists, on Feb. 18. The bishops of Slovakia take the occasion to honor Catholic artists outstanding in promoting Christian ideas and values.

The bishops have been awarding prizes to Catholic artists since 2002.

Bishop František Rábek, who serves the Slovakian armed forces and is the president of the Slovak Bishops’ Conference’s Council for Science, Education and Culture, evaluated this year 13 artists and art associations in categories including verbal arts, visual arts and music.

Among the winners, three honors were named postmortem. Those recognized were: For fine arts: Dušan Králik, Jozef Cincík, Jozef Dorica. For literary arts: Mikuláš Kasarda, Jozef Šimonovič, Blažej Krasnovský (in memoriam). For music arts: Vladimír Godár, Ľudovít Rajter (in memoriam). Special awards: Mario Anton Hrtús, Jozef Vrábel and the Adoremus choir, Amantius Akimjak, Anton Tyrol, Catholic biblical work and Don Bosco publishing.

The neighboring Czech Republic has a similar initiative to honor exemplary figures of Catholic culture. From the very beginning of the independent Czech Bishops’ Conference, they have recognized various personalities, with the highest award being that of the Order of St. Cyril and Methodius, co-patrons of Europe. The Czech prelates give their awards on July 5, feast of Cyril and Methodius.

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