A debate has been ongoing for years as to how much the state should contribute to churches and religious groups in Slovakia and now freshly instated culture minister Marek Madaric has said the time is ripe to discuss the issue of divorcing the church from the state.
Speaking to SME daily, Madaric said the issue should be opened up to public discussion, while noting that nothing had been done about it under the previous short-lived government. The Catholic church in Slovakia takes the lion’s share of state funding, of course, and former culture minister Daniel Krajcer wanted to change the system, which is based on an old law that dates back to 1949.
A year ago the Roman-Catholic Church warned that it could not be separated from the state due to the Slovakia-Vatican Treaty, which can’t be revoked. “It is essential that the Slovakia-Holy See Treaty remain in force,” announced the Slovak Conference of Bishops at the time in reaction to Krajcer’s plans. It therefore remains to be seen how much of Madaric’s rhetoric will be put into practice.