HIS-Press-Service, 1979 (4. évfolyam, 13-15. szám)

1979-02-01 / 13. szám

-Press-Service Special Topic: Religion and Church in Hungary _______________________________________ NO.13-V IENNA, FEBRUAr 79 _________________ > THE FACTS Two Letters to the Clergy of Hungary's Catholic Church The clergy of Hungary's Catholic Church received two noteworthy letters at the beginning of the new Church year. One of the letters, which was intended for all of Hungary's bishops, was addressed to the Archbishop of Esztergom, Cardinal László Lékai, and was written by the Sovereign Pontiff of the Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II. The second letter, which was sent by the Hungarian Bishops Conference to all priests active in pastoral work in Hungary, encouraged the contemporary development of pastoral care. Both of these letters, which were dated within three days of one another, constitute important and significant documents; they are directed to those involved in the pastoral care of Hungary's Church and offer the reader an insight into the characteristic problems facing the Catholic Church in Hungary today. An examination of both letters gives the reader an idea of the efforts being made by the Pope and the Hungarian Bishops Conference to encourage and strengthen the life of Hungary's Church, and of the problems being met with in this area. The Letter of the Pope Archbishop Luigi Poggi, the official diplomat of the Holy See for the countries of Eastern Europe, personally delivered to Hungary the letter of Pope John Paul II. In this letter, which was dated 2 December 1978, the Pope stressed especially his concern for the lot of Hungary's Church. He stated his intention of continuing the path of negotiations with Hungarian State authorities as begun by Pope Paul VI. The Holy Father let it be known, however, that personal reasons too had played a role in the writing of this letter: "We come from a nation which has many ties with the Hungarian people: geographical neighborship, common dynasties, a common historical development." The Holy Father also vividly remembered the large groups of Polish pilgrims, especially youth, who had come to his former diocesan church, the Cracow Cathedral, to visit the grave of Blessed Hedwig,the Queen of Poland, who was the daughter of Louis the Great of Hungary. The above reasons caused the Pope to describe his first contact with the Hungarian Episcopacy by means of this letter as a "historical event." The Holy Father sees Hungary's historical calling as follows: The Hungarian people have played an important