An important form of State control of the churches and their repression under Communist rule was the education of young clergymen at the faculties of theology. After 1953, the only officially permitted Roman Catholic faculty of theology was in the Bohemian town of Litomerice. The author, an important journalist and novelist in the period following the Changes of late 1989, studied there from 1984 to 1989. In the form of personal memoirs he describes the faculty in those days. It was not academically strong, and seminary life served more to control future clergymen (since graduating from the faculty was a necessary condition for subsequent work with the Church) than it was to provide space for spiritual development. Though the students had to be screened by the secret police, which had tried to lure them into collaboration even at the entrance exams, they were definitely not pro-regime. That is particularly true of members of the secret religious Orders. In the second half of the 1980s no one even bothered anymore to persuade students of the necessity of changing one's anti-Communist attitude. As long as one did not make this attitude clear, the system worked. Theologians themselves could thus not be certain whether they were part of the 'visible', collaborating Church, or were part of the opposition, because simply by having entered the faculty they had made it clear what they thought about the establishment's Marxist ideology. The situation at the Roman Catholic faculty of theology (which by its subservience to the State authorities brought to mind the general seminaries of the eighteenth century in the reign of Joseph II) thus basically resembled the situation throughout the 'official' Church in the Bohemian Lands and throughout Czech society as well. Consequently, its transformation after the Changes of late 1989 is taking a long time.
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