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Priest Jailed By Communists Is New Prague Archbishop


VATICAN CITY (Reuters) -- Pope Benedict today named Czech Bishop Dominik Duka, who was jailed under communism and forced to work in a factory, as the new archbishop of Prague.

Duka, 67, currently bishop of the city of Hradec Kralove, will succeed Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, who is retiring.

Duka was ordained a priest in 1970. Five years later, the communists stripped him of permission to work as a priest for nearly 15 years and he made his living by working as a designer in the Skoda industrial works in Plzen.

During this period he worked secretly as a priest teaching theology. He was jailed from 1981 to 1982 during the period when the communists in what was then Czechoslovakia carried out some of the harshest repression of religion in the former Soviet bloc.

The archbishop of Prague is traditionally a cardinal, so it is likely that Duka will eventually be elevated to that rank.

A member of the Dominican order of priests, Duka was made a bishop in 1998 by the late Pope John Paul.
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