News of the excommunication of Catholic Communists filtered slowly through the " Iron Curtain " last week. It was 48 hours before the Czech people heard of it—and then only indirectly.
First news of the decree came in Prague on Friday night, July 15, with Alexej Cepieka's broadcast threatening " treason " charges 'for priests who carry out the order.
Until then, the average Czech did not know, of the Vatican's action. No news 'of it was carried by the Czech official news agency, and there was a newspaper and radio blackout on the news.
The Warsaw newspapers did not mention it and a Polish Government spokesman refused to comment.
Budapest newspapers, too, were silent on the excommunication and it was not until Sunday (July 17) that the first comment was printed.