HIS-Press-Service, 1982 (7. évfolyam, 22-24. szám)

1982-01-01 / 22. szám

Press-Service--------Special Topic: Religion and Church in Hungary ____________ No, 22 - Vienna, January 1982 Conflicts in Hungary's Church Over Two Differing Pastoral Concepts - The Episcopacy and the Base Communities -The tension in the relations between Hungary's hierarchy and the country's long­­suffering. base communities during the past decades has again become the focus of public attention not only within Hungary, but also on an international level. In­terest in the problem was revived through the suspension of two parish assistants who had been active within small Church groups; the priests were not only sus­pended from carrying on pastoral activities, but were also forced to transfer to a place specifically designated for them. After the second world War, primarily two markedly different groupings intensively concerned themselves with the future of Hungary's Church: One of these groupings, which was comprised of Hungary's bishops and sought a solution to the impasse in the conflict between Church and State, served as the sole Church forum for nego­tiations with the State. They sought to fashion the future life of the Church in such a way that it would take place within the parish and the church building it­self and would have the official approval of the State. The other grouping was composed of religiously interested lay persons and priests who, taking as their starting point the Church's "basis," saw its future in im­plementing the genuine evangelical values, if need be even independently of the official Church which was known to be under the control, and even moreso under the influence, of the State and its directives. These lay persons had no intention, however, of distancing themselves from the Church. Both the bishops as well as the base groups, which continued to develop during the course of the years, had their own views about the shape of Hungary's Church life in the years to come. In the interest of, i.e., in an attempt to guarantee in at least a limited way, the pastoral care of the faithful, the Church's leaders attempted in their negotiations with the State to promote ideas best described as the "pastoral concept of the negotiating Church." The base groups, on the other hand made no efforts at securing State approval, but simply sought to ex­perience and practice the idea of Church in small, personal groups. During the time in which the government looked upon these groups as enemies of the State and