Story - Mudr. Silvester Krčméry CSc.
You have the power, we know the Truth
These words were uttered on 24 June 1954 during the main hearing of the Supreme Military Court in Trenčín. Silvester Krčméry (1924) was arrested in 1951 and spent two years in isolation cell. He was repeatedly tortured and ill-treated. He refused to plead guilty and he also refused the pardon of the President of the Republic. As a traitor he was condemned to 14-year imprisonment and released in 1964. Together with Vladimír Jukl he belongs to the founding fathers and key personalities of the Slovak dissent. He dyed in Bratislava on 10 of September 2013.
I remember when they gave me the last possibility of speaking in my defence… I want you to know that I don’t have practically any words for my defence. I stated what I stated for the sole sake of contingency and truth. I want you to understand it clearly. I don’t want it to be imputed to my goodness or mitigating circumstances. After two years of investigations I refused to depose. The main reason why I took such a decision was that the investigating organs did not want to know the truth, but to distort it. I don’t wish to be freed from my acts; I don’t want to contort facts; I don’t want to reduce my responsibility for what I did, because I am convinced that – as for those charges against me – I have free conscience before God and before people. Indeed, I never meant to hurt anybody and as far as I know I didn’t hurt anybody; I didn’t really hurt human society, not even one class of human society.
The secret of Tolstoy
If I have to be punished for what I did – i.e. for the goodness, truth, and Christ – I wouldn’t choose the smallest punishment, but the most terrible one; I would be so happy if I could die for Christ, although I know that I am not worthy of such a great grace. That’s why I don’t want for me mitigating circumstances and I cannot apologize for the fact that I did good things. Of course, I am not a saint… unfortunately. I have my mistakes and sins, mainly before God – just like everybody else or maybe even more. For example, lack of humility, little sense of sacrifice, imprecision, complacency, tendency to calculate, lack of interior spiritual purity, little concentration, perhaps I still have a good deal of interior egoism, and many other defects. But the main line was clear: to follow Christ, expand love for God and my neighbour, so that all people will be happy on earth, just like I am happy since the time of my interior conversion (approximately when I was 17). Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy wrote about a mysterious magical twig buried somewhere deeply under the ground where the greatest mystery is hidden: a handbook explaining how to be happy on earth. When they found it, they had to work hard to dig it out of the ground. When they opened it, they found just three words from the Scriptures: “Love one another!” And Tolstoy adds: the only way to realize oneself is to live for the others. You will find true happiness only when you will make other people happy. It looks like an incomprehensible contradiction; but you just have to try it and you will be convinced by such experience. That’s why we also lived at complete service for God and for the people. We didn’t need wealth or remuneration, not even our minimum wage. By the way, we very often dispensed our wage to people in need. Within our movement we had been for long time in favour of the abolition of private medical practice and of privileged remunerations for curing pain and suffering. We were happy because we had a chance to help our neighbours. This was enough for us. And the greatest remuneration consisted in the fact that at the same time we served God and fulfil His will. We were serving God and people; so we were serving the human society or – according to modern terminology – the labour class. But we don’t make any differentiation among people. We don’t make any difference neither by class nor wealth, militancy, race, origin etc. Every person is a second Christ for us. In our profession and in our work you wouldn’t find lacks; I think that every one of us did more than his/her own compulsory duties. Or at least, definitively more than what most of our colleagues used to do. We do not consider our work only as a source of income, career or an interesting hobby or sports. Our work is the realization of Christ in our concrete life. Our objective witnesses are our superiors, our fellow servants, our subordinated employees, and also our patients. And they did witness. I probably sin and once again I show my lack of humility by being so courageous to egotistically remind all these things, during our hearing; notably because I know that all our brothers and sisters from our groups would receive even better attestations of their work – although they hardly mention it. But I see here also my ineradicable optimism, because I really wish we had at least some understanding even from non-believers.
We must obey God rather than human beings
It wasn’t any strategy – as many people today want to persuade us. We were not covering any “anti-state activity”. It is the basis of Christ’s teaching itself: “Love your neighbour” and when he washed the feet of this disciples: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” and „ The greatest among you will be your servant“. It was as though our work was not enough to legitimize us and prove our positive approach towards mankind, society, and the State. They wanted us to renounce to our own Church, the Vatican, and Christ, unconditionally, without possibility of critics; they wanted us to accept all those things that they presented against the Church and bishops. Instead of faith in God, they wanted us to accept a philosophical fiction, a theory based on philosophical mistakes or political violence. The only possible answer comes from Peter and John before the Sanhedrin, about 1900 years ago: “We must obey God rather than human beings”. (Here the main prosecutor stopped Mr. Krčméry and said: “It is absurd, he is making anti-state propaganda even here.” After a short interruption, he let him finish his speech “because somebody would certainly complain”.) Because Christ said one very clear thing about the Church “Whoever listens to you listens to me” and “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me”. And also “if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector” and “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven”. We go to jail with joy and pride. If need be, we are ready for the gallows. God – in His incomprehensible providence and grace – chose us, unworthy and sinful, and gave us the possibility to follow Him to jail and even on the cross. If it is like that, then we can serve God also in jail. We can do it even better, with more grace and purity, than if we were free. It is true – nobody can oblige people to be served. You can serve people only if they are at least partially willing to allow and accept your service. We don’t think that we are irreplaceable. We know that somebody else will come to the place where we are now standing. As for our job places (our profession), you will find our successors by yourselves. As for our apostolate, God will call our successors. Just like He called us and shaped us from “nothing”… Even from the rubbish of the human society. I did not inherit my faith. I didn’t win in a lottery, I didn’t find it in the streets, but I had to conquer it in my youth, among thousands of difficulties: in hard interior conflicts, doubts, pain, and suffering, when working and studying different opinions about this world, incl. Marx and Lenin, Islam and Buddhism, Hebraism, and most of the Protestant denominations. God gave me all I have. And now, in times when because of Him I might have some unpleasant experiences, shall I cover Him up? Shall I abjure Him? Religious groups will continue to exist. Even without us. Different groups, more and more... We will see it in the course of further investigations and legal processes. We will see it until the time when Church will exist, i.e. until the end of times. These groups will be mainly public, notably if they will not be persecuted; or else, they will be mainly secret and private, notably if they will be persecuted. I don’t mean that it is because of dogma or because the Church cannot stand without them. But it is because, as long as people will read the Gospel in the world, there will always be people who will believe in it, people who will study it and form such communities like Christ or Saint Paul did.
Happy for every stroke
Despite everything, we manage not to fall into the trap of hatred, rebellion, and complaint. Hundreds of people can now witness it. Here our strength and prevalence reside. We are able to repay with good things even those who did us wrong. I know that all our brothers will honestly and unselfishly work in jail. It is our old tradition. Even hundreds and hundreds of early Christians – persecuted under the Roman Empire – were imprisoned, tortured, and crucified; despite this, they were the most dedicated workers; we don’t have any historical sources that report any rebellions from their part. That’s why everyone can persecute us without risks. Other political prisoners will certainly revenge against their enemies – and they will make them pay also the interests. For us the reverse is true. Since the first moment we pray for you all, every day. One of the investigating referents ironically said that our aim is to deliver you to the daemons… It is not at all like that. The reverse is true. We pray God to forgive all your mistakes and sins, because you don’t really understand the extent of what you do against God and against the Church. And I also pray for you, prosecutor, even though I didn’t see you yet. And I also pray for those who beat and humiliate us, for those who put us under nervous and spiritual pressure through long-term isolation, by not allowing us working and reading, going out, receiving visits, and writing letters. Sometimes they also prevented us from sitting and sleeping. They tried to provoke a nervous and spiritual collapse, so that we would provide falsified and untrue statements against Christ and against the Church or against our fellow believers. Nobody can escape God’s judgement! I didn’t hide true things and I declared them so determinedly before the prosecutor (not because of my will to call for revenge or because I was dominated by hatred). We were happy and thankful for each single stroke and we forgave them all, long time before. I released my statements because I sensed that certain things could be eliminated and because I felt obliged to protect at least the others. The accused party in our process is the Church – or in other words – the Vatican, even though it was not present; the accused party did not have any chances to defend. They did not apply one of the oldest basic human rights: the right to hear the other party. What is actually the Church? From a religious point of view it is the mysterious Body of Christ, an organism, the continuation of Christ. From a human point of view it is the society of Christians, Catholics. Something voluntary… Something that does not come from this world. Unlike the state it doesn’t have prisons, security organization, human coercive measures, and physical power – like weapons – apart from some historical halberds. Everyone, in every part of the world, can leave it at any time and without any human detriment. Within the Church, people and democracy have much greater importance than in other human societies; through its membership people gave their voice to the Church. In our country at least 80 percent of the population gives its voice to the Church. If attacks against the Church were truthful, most of those people would have left the Church long time ago (notably because of such strong a pressure).
The Church does not interfere in the internal affairs of the state, but it just fights back against attempts of interfering into its own affairs. It wants to breathe. Is it its sin? Some people who don’t know or hate the Church condemned it to famine. Shall the Church passively accept it or clap its hands? They say the people want it? Let them freely express their opinion! They have already expressed their opinion: for example through membership to the Church and by filling the churches. Do you think Christians are not persecuted in our country? It is a question of points of view. Those who hate Christians think that there is “religious freedom”: everyone can still go to church. But Christ did not come to earth because he wanted to just send people to church. “I am the way, the truth and the life.” And today not even the Church can live its religion anymore. Religious press, cloisters and convents, seminaries, theological faculties, pastoral activities, Church organization, religious movements and societies were liquidated. And notably: the head must fall down. The Episcopal Body did not exist anymore; links with the Church were destroyed. They said it was a link with the West. But it was just an excuse. Indeed, links with Eastern Churches and Christians were also destroyed. According to a previously prepared programme, three nails were punched in into the body of the Church: one between Church leadership in the Vatican and the bishops; one between the bishops and the clergy; and one between the clergy and the believers. From the point of view of believers and of Christians, we had persecution since 1948. It is something seditious and illegal. But it is actually nothing new. Even Christ was persecuted during all his life, though he clearly refused political actions: “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar”, “Put your sword away”, “my kingdom is not of this world”. Since the time of Herod, still an infant, he represented a menace for powerful men and he became one of the youngest exiled. Because of him there were very soon even the first bloody retaliations. Tens of innocent infants were killed (as it happens during every persecution). But they didn’t kill Christ. The hands of powerful men were dirtied with the blood of innocent lives. Only in John’s Gospel we read about at least eight Jesus’ escapes – attempts to imprison and kill him. Eventually he also ended up as a traitor; he is executed, through a humiliating punishment with the worst death, because “he revolted people from Galilee to Judea” and “forbid to pay the taxes”. The same persecution and the same end were also the destiny of his followers. St. Paul was beheaded for treason; St. Peter was crucified upside down; St. James was beheaded; St. Andrew was crucified; St. Stephen was stoned. Thousands more people were hanged and tortured. The same things happen also to the early Christians: from the very beginning and later on for three centuries. They were forced to hide in cemeteries, underground, in the catacombs. It is almost incomprehensible how the supreme Roman laws could be so adverse and inconsiderate against the Christians - circuses, arenas, wild animals, crucifixions, Nero, Decius, Domicius, and Diocletian. All this was due to the sole fact that Christians could not offer thyme to the emperor; i.e. they did not recognize the emperor and the state as a God, but they consider them merely as the emperor and the state. Almost all the early 30 popes ended their life as martyrs. They were executed and tortured.
Conflict with all dictatorships
Is it the passivity of Christianity? Not. It is a fight, but without blood shedding (or at least without foreign blood; only sacrifice of our own blood and our own lives). Slavery is over; emperors’ despotism does not reign anymore; the Roman Empire and other empires are over. But this did not happen in those countries where Christianity was not present, like Egypt, Africa, and China. It all fell without blood and sword. All current attempts of considering the Church as reactionary are vain attempts. History speaks clearly. Places that knew Christianity and Church, also knew culture, significant explosion of literature, art, schools, universities, social institutions. Hospitals and hospices were unknown concepts for the pagans. The barbaric nations of Europe became Christian nations and at the same time they made enormous progress as civilizations. Some high cultured pagan nations did not accept Christianity and knew backwardness and decline. And today they have a hard time recovering what they lost. Since then the Church is in conflict with all dictatorships: with Napoleon, Bismarck, Henry VIII, Joseph II, and Hitler. The reason is always the same: the Church refuses to offer the thyme to the emperor, i.e. it does not genuflect neither before the emperor seen as a god nor before the state seen as a god. Of course, no persecutors have so far admitted that they persecute somebody because of religious matters or beliefs. Christ was also persecuted under all possible pretexts. The early Christians were killed because “they burnt Rome” and because they reportedly slaughtered infants during their rituals. The Nazis condemned the Christians and priests because they morally spoiled the youth (similarly to Socrates). Finally, Christ also told this very clearly: “All men will hate you because of me.“ And “When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another.” By the way, he was always running somewhere. We can say the same thing even for Peter and Paul, as we know from the Acts of the Apostles. “Don't be afraid of those who kill the body.“ Or “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.“ And “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.” And “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.“ You would usually sympathize with somebody who is beaten. The Church does not have prisons, police, and physical power. From a human point of view it is an unfair fight. It is easy to keep the Church silent because it cannot defend itself. But from the point of view of God “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” - never! God exists and Christ is resurrected, truly. People are particularly sensitive in terms of religious freedom and conscience; that’s why there is such a resistance to these measures. People think like us, crowds, Christians. Unfortunately today they are systematically educated and forced to be insincere. That’s why many people talk in the back, or in their homes or cells. Some people don’t speak at all and just wait. They are often considered as more reliable, whereas those who say what they think are considered as traitors and hypocrites.
We are neither fools nor fanatics
Why are we speaking out like this? For hatred? No. No hatred at all. We don’t hate anyone. We just love. We have many things in common with you, although you might not be aware of it. For example, we are against abortion (in 1954 pregnancy interruption was still illegal – note of the editor). Are we speaking out because we wait until everything blows up and a new war commences? Not at all… The reverse is true. We always relied on God, not on weapons… And we don’t absolutely “rely” on nuclear weapons. Are we speaking out because of an empty heroism and martyrdom? Unfortunately, I am too sinful a man. I could only be the caricature of a hero or martyr; and the Church would be always ashamed of such a caricature. We got into such a situation against our own will. We didn’t want to go to jail. We didn’t arrest ourselves. We didn’t humiliate ourselves. We didn’t accuse ourselves. We didn’t condemn ourselves. Christ did not go before the Sanhedrin by his own initiative. He did not walk through the Way of the Cross by his own initiative. We did not get into such a situation by our own initiative. But he chose us: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit.” You are just unconsciously carrying out some of his instructions or things that he lets happen. Are we speaking out because we are fanatics? No, we are neither religious fanatics nor infatuated blind people. We are simply Christians. We were never closed towards any other faiths, opinions or the science. On the contrary, we have searched and studied without prejudices. We keep studying even other philosophical and religious orientations. Through study and work we reached our convictions. Fanatics refuse God or Christianity without having known or studied it. Are we speaking out because we are fools? Many people already labelled us as fools and utopists, when we refused to take money or remuneration for curing or helping people; or when we stated that it is possible to eradicate prostitution and change the life of prostitutes. They also labelled us because of some other proposals or opinions we had. We are not ashamed of it. Even St. Paul was proud of the fact that he can be “fool for Christ“. They also said that Christ “is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?” No, we are not comparing ourselves to Christ, but we want to follow him. By the way, just like all Christians. Therefore I decided to give my testimony because it is my duty. I have to witness the truth. That’s why I have to speak out and I cannot be silent. You have the power in your hands, but we have the truth. We do not envy you for your power. We don’t long for your power. We have the truth – it’s enough. Truth is higher and stronger than power. Those who have power in their hands think that they can repress the truth, kill, and crucify. But the truth always resurrected and will always resurrect.
Published with the consent of .týždeň (no. 8/2011)
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"I have a dream," he began, "that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. "I have a dream my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
- Peter Dufka SJ
We all know, based on our personal experience, that the cooperation with most intelligent people is not often easy. These people usually do not establish friendship easily. It is interesting also that university graduates with an honour degree usually do not fit in to the working environment in the best way and that their high intellect is of a little help in overcoming personal or marriage crises.
- Marek Nikolov
The aim of the “Jesus Heals” prayer gatherings is experiencing the fact that God is Love. He is Love that wants to give itself to other people. God wants to show us His mercy even through healing, signs, wonders, and miracles.
- James Manjackal
During this most important part of your personal prayer you are entering into a personal friendship with Him.
- Bruno Ferrero
“Brother, these are the finest my vineyard has produced. I’ve come to bear them as a gift”. “Thank you ! I will take them to the Abbot immediately; he’ll be delighted with this offering”. “No! I brought them for you” said the man.
Zaujímavá a výpovedná skúsenosť západoeurópskeho muža s hinduizmom, budhizmom, jógou, ezoterikou a okultizmom.
Príbeh bývalého teroristu, ktorý dnes spája etniká a kmene.
Hudobníčka Lacey Sturm, bývalá speváčka kapely Flyleaf, bola presvedčenou ateistkou a mala v úmysle vziať si život... ale zrazu sa všetko zmenilo.
"A rozhnevaný pán ho vydal mučiteľom, kým nesplatí celú dlžobu. Tak aj môj nebeský Otec urobí vám, ak neodpustíte zo srdca každý svojmu bratovi." (Mt 18, 34-35)
We all are part of a great story. The great story of the world is composed of past and present stories of lives of individual people. The portal mojpribeh.sk is focused on the most important moment of the story of the world and individual, the moment of personal experience of person with God.
- Daniel Juster
- Martin Luther King Jr.
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- František Mikloško
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- Jerry Armelli
Former gay: It's a satisfying emotional and sexual relationship? Emotionally, sexually, absolutely; we both love sex. We're blessed. Sometimes we cry after we make love. It is very good.
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I was impressed by your attentiveness, love and respect to one another after 45 years of marriage. What would you recommend to new couples if they would like to be so happy after so many years of life together.
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Michael you used to be one of the leaders of the homosexual movement in America. In your story you state, that the homosexual movement supports the sin and corruption. Could you, please, describe this corruption background of the homosexual movement in detail?