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In his youth Ján Korec was an active Boy Scout.
Korec entered the Society of Jesus in 1939 and studied Catholic theology and philosophy. During the order's suppression under the Communists, he was forced to stop his philosophical studies. He entered the priesthood in 1950. One year later, at the age of 27, he was secretly consecrated a bishop by Bishop Pavol Hnilica. In the following nine years, Korec worked in a factory.
He was imprisoned from 1960 to 1968. While he was in prison, Korec cared for the spiritual welfare of his fellow prisoners. After many petitions, he was released during a general amnesty in 1968. Despite his bad health, after his release Korec continued to work as a street cleaner and as a factory worker. In 1974, his amnesty was revoked, and he was re-imprisoned for four years. Korec was released in 1978, because of his ill health. He was then unemployed, but found work as a warehouse clerk in a chemical factory. After the fall of the iron curtain, Pope John Paul II appointed him Bishop of Nitra in 1990.
Korec did not take part in the papal conclave of 2005, which chose Benedict XVI, because, he was over 80--the age at which cardinals become ineligible to vote. He was present, however, at the Congregation of Cardinals, which negotiated the beginning of the conclave, and at the transfer of the late Pope John Paul II's body into St. Peter's.
In summer 1990, Bishop (now Cardinal) Ján Chryzostom Korec unveiled Jozef Tiso's memorial board on the secondary grammar school in Tiso's birthplace, Bánovce nad Bebravou shocking many by that move.
- ↑ Korec, Ján (1996) (in German). Die Nacht der Barbaren-Als Geheimbischof in der Kirche des Schweigens 1950-1970. Graz-Vienna-Cologne: Verlag Styria. pp. 111-113.