The Faculty of Roman Catholic Theology of Cyril and Methodius at Comenius University celebrates its 80th anniversary

On Tuesday 4 October 2016, the Faculty of Roman Catholic Theology of Cyril and Methodius at Comenius University in Bratislava (FRCTH CU) will celebrate its 80th anniversary. To mark this occasion, a church service will be held in St Martin’s Cathedral at 9:30 am, which will be followed by a ceremonial gathering in the Benedict XVI Auditorium at 11 am.

03. 10. 2016 09.07 hod.
By: CU Public Relations Office

The ceremonial opening of the first academic year at the faculty took place on 4 November 1936 in St Martin’s Cathedral. The Faculty of Roman Catholic Theology had been established by Act 441 Coll. on 24 July 1919. However, it was only after clerical approval was given on 15 August 1935 and the issuing of an executive decree by the government on 24 April 1936 that the faculty could be established in a physical sense.

Over the years, the faculty has undergone a number of significant changes. In the 1945/1946 academic year it was separated from Comenius University. After the establishment of the totalitarian regime, the university underwent a change in the organizational structure of theological studies in 1950. The abolishment of diocesan seminaries in Nitra, Banská Bystrica, Spišská Kapitula, and Košice meant that the theological faculty in Bratislava became the only place of training for the Catholic priesthood in Slovakia. The number of students at the faculty was limited, and the faculty was closely monitored both internally and externally. After the Velvet Revolution, the faculty was reunited with Comenius University in 1990.

“Theology has always had its place at European universities. Drawing on a wealth of tradition, our faculty aims to provide answers which will be an invitation to discuss fundamental questions of existence concerning individuals and society,” said the FRCTH CU Dean, Doctor Vladimír Thurzo. Since its beginnings, the faculty has concentrated on the scholarly training of future priests. The Catholic Theology study programme is a six-year course of full-time study which provides a theological education to both theologians and laity. The faculty has also educated a large number of teachers of religion and ethics.

“The spiritual dimension of society is acquiring an urgent importance in today’s dynamic and overly simplified ‘technocratic’ conception of the world, and it is becoming an essential part of scientific knowledge. This is why I am glad that our university, which adheres to the Humboldtian university tradition, allows for such a precious combination of science and research with humanistic exploration and an ethical approach through the FRCTH CU,” said Professor Karol Mičieta, the Comenius University Rector.

Did you know that...?

- The first FRCTH CU Dean was Emil Funczik, who was a Professor of Ecclesiastical Law. He became the faculty’s dean on 17 September 1936.
- There were 217 theologians who signed up for the first year of study in 1936.
- The FRCTH CU auditorium (on Kapitulská St), which today is named in honour of Benedict XVI, is the oldest auditorium at Comenius University and the oldest in Slovakia itself.
- Currently the FRCTH CU has 136 full-time students and 63 part-time students who are jointly studying at both Bachelor’s and Master’s level, as well as four full-time and 21 part-time doctoral students.
- The FRCTH CU includes three theological seminaries: the Sts Cyril and Methodius Theological Seminary in Bratislava, the St Gorazd Theological Seminary in Nitra, and the St Francis Xavier Theological Seminary in Badín.

More information about the FRCTH CU: