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

1979-02-01 / 13. szám

HIS Press Service No.13, February 1979 Page 2 role in both the history of Europe and the development of the Church and the Christian faith. St.Stephen is not only the patron saint of Hungary, but also an apostle of the Christian faith and the founder of Hungary's Catholic Church. Through him the Hungarian people became a member of the Christian nations; it was with him that the history of Hungary as a politically organized country had its beginnings. The Pope expressed the conviction that, in bringing the Gospel of Christ to its people, Hungary's Catholic Church will continue to influence not only the country's intellectual life, but also the ways of living and thinking of its citizens. The bishops can promote this through their activity, the priests through their pastoral work, and the religious orders and the laity through their apostolates. It is hoped that their efforts will "shape the soul, heart, and conscience of man, and teach the meaning of the commandment of love, respect for the human dignity of all persons, and the sensing of a noble spirit of freedom that goes hand in hand with an appreciation of labor which serves the good of the whole." It is hoped too that all will teach "the acquisition of those virtues which are so urgently needed for the achievement of the common good, be it for the good of the indivi­dual, the family, or the whole of society." This is the Pope's sincere hope, and he requests of the bishops that their efforts be directed at "promoting these goals in an effective and fruitful manner through their apostolic witness, their concern for the spiritual welfare of the faithful, respect for national tradi­tions, and their continued communion with the successor of Peter and the entire episcopacy of Christ's Church." In closing, the Pope sends his apostolic blessing to Hungary's bishops, who Christ himself has placed at the head of their country's Church community as shepherds and teachers, and to all the members of this Church community, and asks the bishops to pass on his words of greeting to the people of Hungary. The Circular Letter of the Hungarian Bishops The letter of the Hungarian Bishops Conference, dated 29 November 1978, was con­cerned with the "contemporary development of pastoral activity." This letter, which was addressed to the clergy active in pastoral work, deals with what is at present perhaps the greatest concern: namely the problem of unity within Hungary's Catholic Church. The tone of the letter's final words sounds almost like that of a solemn vow: "With all our mutual strength, and bound together by ties of unity, we the bishops will work for the good of the faithful." As for the relationship with their priests, the bishops stress that, "with the genuine intention of want­ing to be of assistance, and with a willingness to share responsibility, they have always encouraged a father-son relationship (with their priests) and will continue to do so in the future." The bishops express the conviction that, "cultivating an