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Sekerák, Marián. “The spectre of liberalism is haunting Europe: Political interventions of the Slovak Catholic hierarchy and its struggle for ‘traditional values’.” Politics, Religion & Ideology 23, no. 4 (2022): 424-443.


Slovakia is traditionally considered a relatively highly religious country with a strong influence of the Catholic Church. Although the real number of believers declines sharply with each census (the last one was held in 2021), interventions, especially by the Catholic hierarchy, in public space and politics are relatively frequent and noteworthy. This article presents the most important of these interventions in the last approx. 20 years. This undertakes within the traditional Catholic agenda: the anti-choice (‘pro-life’) movement, the negative attitude towards the rights of LGBTIQ minority, and the issues of education. Consequently, it will be clarified that the official Catholic narrative, especially in recent years, is an ideological mixture of social conservatism, cultural anti-modernism, and the fear of progressivism and liberalism. Based on the analysis of the interpretative repertoires of various speech acts (speeches, homilies, interviews and various written texts), the very nature of bishops’ interventions will be explained.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.