Martyrs of the Hungarian Catholics
A document collected by Gyula Havasy
The translation of the document
" A magyar katolikusok szenvedései
1944-1989 "Budapest, 1990.
Instead of Foreword
I. We Cannot Be Silent
1. A Brief History of the Hungarian Nation
2..Lack of Information-Mass Infantilism
II. Times of Hitler
3.Christian Philantropy in a Bloody Period
III. The Other Dictatorship
4. The Basis of the Party Dictatorship
IV. Mindszenty's Primate
5. The New Primate
6. Mindszenty's Struggle
V. Mindszenty's Suffering
7. The Show Trial of Mindszenty
VI. Under Pressure of the Agreement
9. Agreement as Legal Ground to Control the Denominations
10. The Agreement of 1950.
11. Peace Movement of Priests
VII. The Strokes of the Authorities
VIII. The Struggle of the Small Communities
13. Manipulation of the New Primate
14. Hungarian Base Communities
15. The Bulányi Case
16. Hungarians a Self Devastating Nation
In a special historical period, in a small country the process of
deterioration hast turned. In the midst of countless suffering, prison,
death the change of Konstantin had taken place backwards. Seventeen
centuries before this change made established church from the Early Church.
It discredited Jesus' name, misinterpreted his teaching to an ideology.
The hungarian catholic church was established by a king, and it ruled
together with kings for almost thousand years in this region. It was a
dreadful trauma for it, when an atheistic, religion-persecutor ideology had
assumed the power after the 2nd World War. Still, it could join to this,
too. It appeared, that how basical element of its nature is the cooperation
with the power. But while the high-clergy exchanged slowly by the
dictatorship consented even to the persecution of the church, in the
furnace of persecution a community-network similar to the Early Church was
About these centuries of the hungarian catholic church had collected
documents with dangerous and hard work of many years Gyula Havasy old
catholic parish priest. He published it in hungarian in an about 500 page
book in 1990. This small english book is a selection from this collection.
It deals especially in its longest, 8th chapter with the basecommunities,
among them with the Bush, the nonviolent movement founded in 1945 by Gyorgy
Bulanyi piarist friar, in which this returning to the roots of Jesus has
During the history the gospel raised many times such inner revolution in
the churches interwoven with the power. With the instruments of slander,
persecution, in the last resort the stake, exclusion, crusade against
'heretics' the followers of Jesus had always been forced into the
catacombs. Today, in the period when the european churches don't have that
vast power, the duality which has taken place in the hungarian catholic
church cannot be stopped with such simple, brutal devices.
The situation of the hungarian catholics representing the radical teaching
of Jesus is still not easy. On the one hand lies the informatical
oppression of the high-clergy heavy on them, on the other hand the consumer
society with its mouldering effects. We can only hope, that the Bush -
after coping successfully with the common persecution of the state and the
high-clergy in the past - will find the christian answer to the North-
Atlantic crisis too, holding together with those in many points of the
world church who seek for the same sincerely.
The price of the 184 page book is 5 US dollar. It can be ordered among
others by the author: Gyula Havasy, H-2524 Nagysap, Hungary.<>br
You can order it also by E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note of the Vatican Radio
The document of Gyula Havasy: Martyrs of The Faith
The original edition was printed in 1990, 443 pages.
This document is shocking to read although it is far from a book which affords good reading; the mass of facts is hard to put up with.
It is rather a "semi-finished product" which is raw material for a monography to be written later on, or a summary to which Gyula Havasy - a priest working at Nagysáp - wants to collect details on in the future. He himself is among the prosecuted priests who - with the help of more or less data - presents us with information from the dark periods of Hitler and of Stalin-Rákosi-Kádár.*hundred priests from the times of Hitler, and of six hundred priests by name from the internment camps of the Rákosi-Kádár regimes. He unfolds ten ecclesiastical policy show trials, the detention of two thousand nuns and eight hundred monks, the abolition of fifty-nine religious orders, the dispersion of 10,000 sisters and of 1,500 monks, the discrimination against the youth of base communities and trained Catholics, and he gives account of their persecution as well. He recalls the tragic situation of the pruned (Cardinal Lekai's slogan: "Once pruned turns green' Ha.=Havasy) Hungarian clericals and flock who were forced to collaborate the ruining of the Church and to make compromises guided and opressed by the ÁEH (Bureau for Church Affairs). Compromise and betrayal vary by turns with other's valiant responsibilities and martyrdoms Not only Catholic priests, monks and nuns but Jewish people - who became Catholics during prosecution - and the laity are also demonstrated in the cloud of "martyrs". However Gyula Havasy has collected a lot of data himself in connection with the priest trials, the prosecution of monks and small communities. He devotes a disproportionately large chapter to the case of Father Bulányi - this amounts to 17% of the material - as he himself writes: "if we left this out of the history of Hungary after 1976, that would be a misleading, history-cooking, manipulation of the reader."
He uses the reports of the sufferings mentioned in the works of Jenô Gergely. These writings are more reliable than the ones published during the "reign" of Imre Miklós when most of the press was censored. We have already known several facts quoted by Havasy; for example the life of Primate József Mindszenty, mostly from the martyr Cardinal's "Memoires". Numerous details/entries have been available from publications such as :Imre András und Gyula Morel: Die Katolische Kirche in Ungarn (1945-1982) (The Catholic Church in Hungary) or the essays of Father András, head of the Hungarian Sociological Institute in Vienna, published in various periodicals.
Let us quote the foreword of Gyula Havasy's document which served us as a source-material: "History is usually written by the winners. This collection intends to be the history of the "defeated ones". etc... First of all let the mentioned facts speak for themselves". So far the introductory chapter of Havasy.
The so many "defeated" are in fact victors - by virtue of Christ's grace. But we are obliged to reveal the situation without bias. Of course these defeated ones are those who forgive their enemies as well - treading in the footsteps of Christ. But let their moral rehabilitation come, once the "defeated government" has failed to make the rehabilitation. Sad to say the past fifty years has inflicted wounds in the Church: you can still find the impressions of oppression and pruning. We do not mean by this the pruning of the institutions, movements, structures, but the harms caused in souls. On the one hand in the souls of those who collaborated with the oppressing regime, either acting from selfish motives and being a carreerist or perhaps under the cover of helping the Church progress. On the other hand the oppression and the pruning has also left an impression in the souls of those who have suffered several years in prisons and detention camps and became frustrated, and whose physique and mental power have been crushed if not their moral strength, and in the soul of those young priests who were constantly transferred or put on the shelf just because they were doing a fair amount of good among the youth.
We do not tend to pass sentences, as God is the only merciful Judge of everyone, but we bow to the witnesses of Christ today. We believe that their testimony has not been in vain: their suffering is sowing seed from which the present-day renewed Church will evolve.
We should be thankful to Gyula Havasy for collecting the documents, although - as he also intends - this collection must be continued in order to complete the list of martyrs of the Hungarian Catholic Church. (18th February, 1991)