privileges of the Hungarian Catholic Church by convening bishops' conferences, and eventually, in 1854, he personally presented a Promemoria to Pius IX in Rome, in which he put forward arguments against extending the negotiated concordat to cover Hungary However, it became clear that Emperor Franz Joseph I was only prepared to ratify the concordat (which would dispose of the last remnants of Josephinism) on condition that the agreement be extended to cover all the lands of his realm, including Hungary The pope backed down, and the Hungarian bishops had to accept the concordat. However, since the concordat had been concluded illegally because of the suspension of the Hungarian constitution, the Hungarian bishops allowed it to lapse from the church's side after the political settlement with Austria in 1867. Until that time, Cardinal Scitovszky successfully resisted the abolition or restriction of his rights as primate.

During the 1850s, the church was at last in a position to consider internal reforms. Two provincial councils - at Esztergom in 1859 and at Kalocsa in i860 - and two diocesan synods took place, and passed numerous regulations dealing with various measures for reform, notably concerning the sacraments, worship and the mode of life of clergy and religious, as well as church discipline. The dioceses introduced retreats for priests, the theological formation of candidates for the priesthood was modernised, support was provided for the theological faculty of Budapest University, the first Catholic publishing house was founded and the first Catholic societies were established. The religious orders, particularly women's orders, flourished. The Jesuits returned. But there were also political problems, as was demonstrated in i864 by the case of Bishop Lajos Haynald of Transylvania, who had to resign because of his support for the incorporation of Transylvania into Hungary

The suppression of the Hungarian revolution and of the constitution, together with the centralising tendencies that came from Vienna, all caused a great many problems for the church, but they did temporarily banish the threat of liberalism. Until the settlement in 1867 there was no liberal movement worth mentioning within Hungarian Catholicism. But the old problems re-emerged in the wake ofthe settlement and the restoration ofthe i848 constitution. The main liberal 'Deak party' was moderately liberal, demanding reforms in the area of interdenominational issues such as marriage law, education, church property and registration, but with the objective of achieving peace between the denominations. By contrast, the radical left-wing liberals demanded the 'democratisation' of the Catholic Church, and the abolition of religious orders, of celibacy and of ecclesiastical privileges, together with the nationalisation of church property. The bishops therefore cautiously aligned themselves with

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment