HIS-Press-Service, 1986 (9. évfolyam, 29. szám)

1986-02-01 / 29. szám

-Press-Service Special Topic: Religion and Church in Hungary ________________ No.29-VIenna, February 1986 THE FACTS The Church of Hungary Has Again Taken Two "Small Steps" Ahead After years of negotiations and several unofficial attempts, an official decision has now been reached in Hungary about two concerns of the Church. The one regards the possibility of an institutional employment of the laity in pastoral ministries, the other the founding of a women's religious community for the care of the sick, charitable works, and Church ministries. These arrangements are to govern those aspects that affect the relation of Church and State, i.e., the political condi­tions under which the laity under official ecclesiastical commission or the new women's religious community can develop its activity. A, Agreement About the Employment of the Laity in Pastoral Ministries THE BACKGROUND On September 20, 1985 an agreement was signed by the head of the Catholic Church of Hungary, Primate Cardinal Dr. László Lêkai, as well as by the President of the State Office for Church Affairs, State Secretary Imre Miklós that governs the "ac­tivity of the laity replacing the pastoral functions formerly performed by the priests. Through this agreement articulated in four points the possibility has been created for the laity, in observance of guidelines still to be worked out by the Hungarian Bishops' Conference, to provide in certain regions and realms established by the respective diocesan bishop all those pastoral duties which the new codex iuris canonici grants to the lay apostolaié (pts. 3 and 4). The Hungarian Government recognizes the wish of the Church in view of new needs and requirements to embark upon new ways and would like through its consent to the agreement under discussion to express its good will based on the present good relations (pt. 1). The Bishops' Conference, for its part, confirms that this agreement represents a further step in the development of the good relations between Church and State, accepts its personal responsibility for a prudent implementation of the agreement, promises to apply the corresponding regulation of the codex iuris Canonici and to see to it that the lay ministers respect within the framework of their Church activity the Constitution as well as the legal order of the land, support the peaceful con-