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17. - 18. století

Pater Konias

Infamous Czech Jesuit
Info text

Antonin Konias was a prominent Czech Jesuit, a preacher and a die-hard opponent of the Czech reformation.
He was born in Prague into the family of a typographer in the Jesuit Klementinum. When he was 17 he entered the Jesuit order and after graduating he spent time on missions all over Bohemia. Pater Konias was an excellent speaker and preacher and possessed an unflagging energy. He could preach five times a day, had an ascetic style of life and was tireless. He devoted his life to the catholic counterreformation and hoped to create a “new” catholic Bohemia, accommodating his whole life for this purpose. He was a leading censor of books and it is said that during his time, about 30 000 irrecoverably “heretical” books were burnt (Konias held a detailed track and statistics), and thousands of others were bastardized through

censorship. Konias also created the Clavis haeresim claudens et aperiens (Key Closing And Opening Heresies), which was a list of forbidden books and was binding until 1770, that is 10 years after his death.
We should acknowledge that the National Revival movement quite magnified the ill reputation of Pater Konias on numerous occasions, and that it used him to defame the Jesuit order and obscurantism as a whole, and we should also note that it often did so with great bias. Needless to say that communist propaganda exploited Konias’s dark reputation to blacken the name of the Church as a whole. What remains certain is that Pater Konias was a very radical persecutor of “obscurantism”, he was however unlucky in that he was made an example, hence his dark reputation was often made worse and emphasized on purpose.


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