Trust in the Church Hierarchy among the Underground Church Community in Post-1968 Slovakia


In the post-1968 era, trust in the official hierarchy among the catholic faithful was far from guaranteed. With the church hierarchy under tight state control and effectively existing on two levels—officially and “underground”—the levels of trust fluctuated and its character changed. Trust was constructed, challenged and negotiated. Drawing on an analysis of the catholic discourse in late socialism, I argue that the character and level of trust in the local catholic hierarchy changed dynamically according to the current hierarchy’s relationship to the communist party-state, the hierarchy’s relationship with the Vatican and the level and quality of the hierarchy´s relationship with the underground community itself.