THE peoples of Czechoslovakia should be offered the chance to vote on their country's future in a referendum before it is split in two, Catholic bishops from the Czech lands said this week.
Speaking in Rome, where they held talks with Pope John Paul 11, the bishops of Bohemia and Moravia said Czecho-slovakia's political leaders had gone "beyond their mandate" in deciding to dissolve the federation following elections last month. "Citizens have the right and the obligation to express their choice directly," the bishops said.
Czech Archbishop Miroslav Vlk of Prague said he backed President Vaclav Havers call for a referendum.
• The Pope has appealed to hundreds of Czechoslovakian clerics secretly ordained under communist rule, including married bishops, to accept the hierarchy's authority. At least one of the married bishops has already agreed to hand in his staff.