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ThDr. et ThDr. h.c. Oto Mádr was presented with an award

This year, the Education Programme Board decided to issue the Catholic priest and theologian ThDr. Oto Mádr with an award acknowledging his contribution to education and the renewal of the university idea. The founder of the VIZE 97 Foundation, President Václav Havel, presented him with a diploma and the symbolic amount of 97,000 CZK at an official ceremony. Professor Radim Palouš gave a speech and a short summary of the laureate’s achievements.

Oto Mádr studied at the Archbishop’s Grammar School in Prague and then proceeded to the Theological Faculty at Charles University (1936–1939). He was ordained as a priest in 1942. After the end of the Second World War, he continued in his studies of moral theology at the Gregorian University in Rome (1948–1949). He then returned to Czechoslovakia where he was not only actively involved in the administration of the parish, but also as a significant personality in the circles of Catholic activities. In May 1951, he was arrested and sentenced in a show trial to life imprisonment for apparent espionage in favour of the Vatican and for the organisation of illegal religious activities. He was released on probation in 1966. In 1970, he was fully rehabilitated by the courts (the rehabilitation was revoked in 1975 and then newly reinstated in 1990). He was an advisor to Cardinal Tomášek from 1968 and he has published theological texts since 1978, initially as samizdat and then in standard form after the Velvet Revolution.