Diplomat, historian and translator František Xaver Halas, the last Czechoslovak and the first Czech ambassador to the Vatican, died today at the age of 86. The portal www.cirkev.cz informed about this on its website.
FX Halas, son of the poet František Halas, was born on October 18, 1937 in Prague. He studied history at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague and in 1970 received a doctorate in philosophy there. Between 1967 and 1990, he worked in the cabinet for history of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Warsaw, now Masaryk University in Brno. Between 1990 and 1999, he served as the ambassador of Czechoslovakia, later the Czech Republic, in the Vatican.
In 1993, he received the scientific rank of candidate of historical sciences. Since 1999, he has been lecturing at the Cyril Methodius Theological Faculty of the Palacký University in Olomouc, at the Department of Church History and Church Art History. In 2000, he was appointed associate professor of theology at this faculty as part of the merger of the fields of church history and theology. In 2006 he became professor of church history and since 2010 he has been professor emeritus.
In his works, he focuses primarily on church history, especially Czech and modern history, and the history of diplomacy and international relations. He is the author of the book Fenomén Vatikán, which represents the most comprehensive Czech monograph dealing in detail with the Vatican and the papal office. In the past, he worked as the director of the Diocesan Theological Institute of the Hradec Králové Diocese.
Together with his wife Dagmar, he led the 30-year-long translation work of a fifteen-member team of biblical scholars and editors of the Jerusalem Bible.