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BRIEF HISTORY 

The collegium cleri , associated with  Prague’s Castle St. Vitus Cathedral, who were entrusted with  the preparation of all necessary for the establishment of the independent  diocese board  are likely to be considered as the origins of St. Vitus Chapter. In particular, the year 971 in which Pope John XIII authorised Boleslav II ‘s request presented to him  through Boleslav’s  sister abbess Mlada to establish Bishop’s residency in Prague.  At that time, Prague was under the authority of Ratisbon´s Bishop, who was suffragan of Salzburg Metropolitan bishop. After Prague became bishop’s residency under the control of Mainz Metropolitan bishop in 973, the previously mentioned collegium cleri became Cathedral’s Chapter. The establishing documents have not been preserved. However, from the end of the 10th century terms such as provost, dean, archdeacon, scholasticus and Prague’s Church Canon began to appear. For example Kosmas (1045 – 1125) was known as The Dean of Cathedral’s Chapter. The cathedral school was managed by St. Vitus Chapter until the establishment of Charles University. The teachers were titled “Masters” and there were outstanding scholars of excellent reputation in Europe amongst them.  The excellence of St. Vitus School also attracted students from abroad. The Chapter has continued to fulfil its cultural and educational mission. In 1344, the Prague Diocese was promoted to Archdiocese and St. Vitus Chapter became Metropolitan Chapter. The new shape of Church administration has influenced the position and the activity of the Metropolitan Chapter. This new phase is well documented in the Chapter’s oldest written Constitution from the 18th November, 1350.  St. Vitus Chapter continued its link with Apostolic See and was in charge of Archdiocese through voted administrators during the difficult period of vacant Prague’s archbishop throne from 1421 through to 1561. In appreciation of this truthful service the Chapter was awarded the title “semper fidelis” (always true) and as such enjoyed numerous privileges. The Chapter’s Constitution  dated 1350 were frequently updated and altered throughout the time according to the changing circumstances and needs, the latest changes were completed in 1992. The new Constitution was written then, encompassing the Metropolitan Chapter´s return to its original mission, in particular its privileged care for St. Vitus Cathedral and its cultural-educational purpose.

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