Czech theologian Tomáš Halík to visit Australia

17 January 2024


Internationally renowned theologian, prolific author and ‘underground priest’ Monsignor Tomáš Halík, coming to Sydney and Melbourne for whirlwind tour.

Monsignor Professor Tomáš Halík, the ‘underground priest’ who converted to Catholicism as an adult and was secretly ordained a priest in 1978 during the communist rule of then-Czechoslovakia is coming to Australia.

He will give a series of lectures as part of the Bishop Vincent Presents series in the Diocese of Parramatta and the Hélder Câmara lecture at Newman College, Melbourne. The conversation will be moderated by leading academic and priest, Fr Frank Brennan SJ AO.

A renowned public intellectual, philosopher, sociologist and priest, Halík is known for being a leading voice against Soviet communism in the 1980s (he was persecuted by the secret police as an “enemy of the regime”) and was co-responsible for the revival of the Czech Catholic Church after the fall of communism. During this time, he also worked as a psychotherapist for drug and alcohol addicts.

He is a passionate voice for ecumenism, interfaith dialogue and religious tolerance, and his award-winning books have focused on the dialogue between faith, agnosticism and atheism.

RELATED: Register today for the Sydney or Melbourne event

As a professor of sociology at Charles University, Prague, president of the Czech Christian Academy, and a university chaplain, he has a unique ability to reach out and discuss faith in different contexts. This has resulted in him preparing for baptism and baptising over 1,000 university students and young academics.

His best-selling book Patience with God received the prize for the best European Theological Book and in 2014 he was the recipient of the Templeton Prize which is awarded to a living person who has “made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery or practical works.” Considered by many as the equivalent of a Nobel Prize for religion, he joins an illustrious list of previous winners including Mother Teresa, Desmond M Tutu, and the Dalai Lama.

Monsignor Halík is well-known to the last three Popes. He famously prepared Pope St John Paul II for his first post-communist visit to Prague in 1990. He then appointed Halík advisor to the Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Non-Believers in 2009. Pope Benedict XVI later granted him the title of Monsignor – Honorary Prelate of His Holiness in recognition of his scholarly and pastoral merits.

Since 1989, he has lectured at numerous universities and international scientific conferences in Europe, USA, Asia, Australia, Canada and South Africa. He was also a visiting professor at Oxford University, Cambridge University and Harvard University.

His public lecture in Parramatta will be on Monday 12 February at 6pm and is titled: “Help my unbelief! Searching for God in a secular age.” The lecture will be given again in Melbourne at Newman College on Thursday 15 February at 5pm.

Places are limited, so please register today for the Sydney or Melbourne lecture:




Find out more about Tomáš Halík or read some of his previous speeches here.


Read Daily
* indicates required