Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Will Rome support Hungary?

As some may recall, Hungary adopted a new constitution on April 25, 2011, putting itself on the line moving in the direction of a religious state, proudly professing its Christian heritage and the founding role of King Saint Stephen a millennium ago. This has also meant a move away from the pluralist polity apparently favored by the Church since the Second Vatican Council.

Hungary now desperately needs the backing of the Church in order to sustain the new constitutional direction upon which it has embarked. This was made apparent recently in an interview of Hungary's Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, by a Polish Catholic Sunday weekly, Niedziela (March 27, 2013). Hungary needs the Church to back Hungary's right to resist the banks, to fight homosexuality through public civic sanctions (Hungary is being excoriated for its opposition to gay marriage and same-sex adoption of children), etc., in keeping with Church tradition and current teaching. Hungary also needs the Church to support its new constitution's protection of life from the moment of conception.

Some excerpts from Prime Minister Orban's interview:
If we had stronger Church, the whole country would be stronger. We are not able to reverse the situation so quickly.

I want to emphasize again that life is a value and it is an issue beyond question. European politicians, who say that Christianity is important, are attacked. Their statements are considered as politically incorrect. So, it is not easy to build a coalition for defence of these values because in discussions we are accused of being intolerant and when we speak about Christianity we hear that it is discrimination. And, therefore, the people in authority are very careful, avoid discussions concerning the whole world. In such matters, it is extremely difficult to create the common ideological alliance among countries in Europe. Personally, I use a different tactics – I try to create a coalition among people; for, there are such communities in the European politics, maybe not big, but significant for Christian opinions. These are communities concentrated around the Church, but acting in the public sphere. It is quite a strong network but its real power is invisible.

I try to build alliances with politicians for whom Christianity and traditional values are important. I know that these are strong alliances. I withstand the attacks because I feel the support from allies who are in solidarity with me.

... prayer is much more important for the life of the nation than it used to be thought in the public life. i would like to mention one of such spiritual initiatives. In the second half of the 50s, for several years there was a powerful prayer movement in Austria. People who took part in it, prayed for the intention of leaving their country by the Soviets. And the prayer was successful. In the Central Europe the prayer movement for the intention of the nation has deep traditions to which I refer with a great respect. I also know that people pray for me as well, especially when I face difficult tasks. And this is a great help for me.
Some traditionalists (e.g., TheWhiteLilyBlog) are not sanguine about the prospects of Rome backing the Hungarian venture towards a more traditional religious state, especially after the post-WWII shifts toward favoring an American-type pluralist democracy, as expressed in Jacques Maritain's Man and the State, and Fr. John Courtney Murray, S.J.'s We Hold These Truths. We shall see whether the Minders of the Store will stand on principle or sweep Hungary under the bus, as some suggest. Time will tell.

[Hat tip to L.S.]


thewhitelilyblog said...

That was a great interview! all I can say is, let's visit Hungary and spend some dough!

I am not Spartacus said...

Dear Dr. God Bless you for this important post. We shall see with whom the Magisterium is in continuity with, The Americanist, JC Murray, or Pope Leo XIII.


I'm with White Lily though.

But, this does give me the rarest of opportunities - to write something nice about he who was attacked by a killer rabbit, Jimmy Carter.

He did the right thing...


thewhitelilyblog said...

Dear friend,

Thank you for reading my post on Hungary. I don't know if you missed the newest post on a related topic, the extremely recent demand of a large Liberian group for a Christian religious state.

May I point out that the Orban interview with the Polish Catholic newspaper was from June 2012. You have picked up the current date of the newspaper from the masthead. The real date when the article appeared is at the bottom. And the Church has been quiet, has left them hanging, all that time, except for two weeks ago when Stefan Boss at Vatican Radio began to attack, repeating only the liberal allegations ("undemocratic" "unconstitutional" etc.). In the meantime, all the constitutional challenges have been won--apparently Hungary *can* do it under existing rules. (That means so could we!) It's the world opinion vote they need, with the truth getting out.

I thank you with all my heart for helping to do that. By the way, although you have said that the whitelilyblog is not 'sanguine' about the prospects of the Vatican riding to Hungary's defense, neither are you, in pointing out that the present policy regarding Hungary is exactly identical to the policy followed since the Council: dismantle the existing Catholic states (there were five, I believe) and give whole hearted support to secularism and to western style democracy. Neither you nor I are any more nor any less sanguine over it than Bishop Fellay, who says we need a miracle. Actually I'm pretty sanguine we'll get one. Because I pray the divine office and hence the psalms, and they're ridiculously and wonderfully optimistic over the eventual victory of justice.

I wish you would leave a comment at my little blog. No one ever does.