Secret No More

Discovering a female Catholic priest behind the Iron Curtain.

A quarter-century ago Ludmila Javorova was a secret locked inside another secret. She was an ordained Roman Catholic priest inside the secret underground church in Czechoslovakia.

More on Ludmila

Ludmila's Story
Becoming a priest is something she prepared for all her life

Did a Female Pope Exist?
"Pope Joan" may be more than a legend

"A Woman of Power"
An interview with Donna Woolfolk Cross, author of the book, "Pope Joan"


The underground church, known as


--from koinonia, a Greek word for a tightly knit group of believers--operated at great risk, barely beyond the repressive gaze of the Czech communist authorities.

In the 1970s and '80s, Javorova's story was as remote as information buried in a time capsule. In a sense, that's what the secret was. Javorova did not want it revealed. Yet over the course of one decade, the 1990s, American enterprise and determination--and chance--decided otherwise.

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