HIS-Press-Service, 1981 (6. évfolyam, 19-21. szám)

1981-03-01 / 19. szám

HIS Press Service No.19, March 1981 Page 2 belonging to the Roman or Greek rites. This figure again confirmed the trend toward a percentual increase in the number of Catholics in relation to the country's total population: 1910: 65.0%; 1920: 66.1%; 1930: 67.2%; 1941: 68.2%; 1949: 70.5%. According to the census result, the Protestant percentage of the population re­mained basically unchanged: 1910: 27.8%; 1920: 27.2%; 1930: 27.0%; 1941: 26.8%; 1949: 27.1%. Since the national census no longer provides data on the confessional membership of the population, the Church is forced to depend upon estimates. There is also less interest today in determining the total number of persons who are Catholics in the legal sense of ecclesiastical law, including the large number of persons who are simply baptized Catholics, than in determining the number of Catholics who, on the basis of specific criteria, can in some way be characterized as prac­ticing Catholics. Such a critérium, for example, is the willingness to pay the voluntary Church tax. Up to now, no official statement has been issued by the Hungarian Bishops Conference as to criteria to be used in estimating the number of faithful. Furthermore, there exist at present no special or generally prac­ticed methods of determining or counting the number of faithful. Some attempts which have been made in this direction, however, indicate that various possibil­ities for a solution to the problem are being examined. A survey was made, for example, on the number of baptisms, marriages, and burials performed by the Catholic Church in 1971. According to the study's results, 60.5% of those born in that year were baptized, 37.3% of the country's marriages were performed by the Church, and 60.8% of those who died received Church funerals. These studies, however, are concerned mainly with the area of religious practice, since they concentrate on the extent to which Catholics turned to religion at important points in their life. Therefore the studies' results can only indirectly provide infor­mation on the actual number of faithful. The most recent diocesan statistics provide information on the number of faithful. The statistics of only one diocese refer to the number of Catholics. The figures given are more or less exact. Some of them have been rounded off, and others are accompanied by a question mark. Instead of the number of faithful, one of the reports gives the tax basis determined by the diocese's economic administrational office. Another report contains no reference at all to the number of faithful. The number of Catholics in a diocese divided by the number of seminarians and active priests in that diocese provides an index of the number of faithful per priest and seminarian. Since pastoral care and priestly vocations are also de­pendent upon a number of other factors, such as the number of lay persons in­volved in pastoral care, these index figures provide a true picture of the