THE representatives of the Holy See and Czechoslovakia began talks last week on the relationship between Church and State. '
Czechoslovakian representatives were the Councillor of their Embassy to Italy. and Directors of Ecclesiastical Affairs for Bohemia-Moravia and Slovakia.
Neither side indicated whether the talks meant a resumption of f or mal diplomatic ties; nor. in fact, was any information disclosed as to what specific topics were discussed.
PUPPETS CONDEMNED Diplomatic ties between the two were broken in 1950 by the Communist government of Czechoslovakia, after the Holy See had condemned "puppet" Catholic organisations within that country's Communist Party.
But relations between the Catholic Church and the Czech Government have in fact improved steadily since the death of Stalin, during whose regime many priests were persecuted and Church property confiscated.
According to the Vatican's official yearbook --Annuario Poittificiothere arc about 81 million Catholics in Czechoslovakia out of a population of 14 million plus.
Reports indicate that 33 priests were ordained in that country in 1969, including eight for the Eastern Rite. It is almost 20 years since any ordinations in the Eastern Rite have taken place there.
SUCCESSFUL TALKS Rehabilitation trials for priests and church workers have also ceased, but there is, Czech C'hurch officials have indicated. little prospect of the wholesale restoration of Churchmen to their religious functions.
The last series of talks between the Church and the Czech government, which ended in 1967. resulted in agreements which included allowing Cardinal Josef Beran to leave his house arrest and go to Rome.