Jesus Christ said, “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.” (John 15:18). These words are especially acute today, since our country has been under single fire from many all over the world.
What is the reason for this hatred? The real reason is the fact that our country has been promoting basic human values sought to be destroyed by many in our days. The Hungarian Parliament has given our country a Fundamental Law starting with the name of God (Preamble), stating that embryonic and foetal life shall be subject to protection from the moment of conception (Freedom and Responsibility II) and that Hungary shall protect the institution of marriage as the union of a man and a woman (Foundation L). The Fundamental Law also states that the family is the basis of the nation’s survival and that the extent of contribution to satisfying community needs shall be determined in consideration of the costs of raising children (Freedom and Responsibility XXX). Obviously there are many in the world who dislike this definite statement of these basic human rights.
Moreover, the Hungarian Government has levied extra tax on banks. Naturally, it makes the lords of the financial world anxious lest the example should be followed by others.
This is the basic reason for the attacks against our country. Of course these reasons are not explicitly named, other, less significant complaints being brought up.
One of these accusations is the Law on Churches. The aim of this Law is to deprive business churches of church status. The reason is that in Hungary, unlike in many European countries, Church education, health and social institutions are granted State funding equal with the funding of similar State institutions, since they provide educational or health service for equal taxpayers. Therefore in our country several fake churches have been established, whose main purpose was to obtain State funds.
The new Law on Churches changes this situation. More precisely, it describes the requirements for any community to be able to obtain Church status (minimum membership of 1.000; minimum presence of 20 years in the country etc.). Any community not fulfilling these requirements will be absolutely free to continue their work; however, they will not be granted State funding for their institutions.
It is just natural that the Hungarian Parliament and the Government have also made some errors in their work. These included some – later amended – paragraphs of the Media Law, as well as some, perhaps unnecessary amendments of the Central Bank Law, which gave an opportunity for attacks. Similarly, it would have been more appropriate to make the agreement with the banks prior to issuing the rulings on final repayment.
However, the reason for the attack against our country is not this, but the basic values Hungary now represents.
The present Parliament has had to responsibly avail itself of the two-thirds majority with which it has been authorized by voters to act. It must bear and turn into actions this great responsibility and opportunity with humility and prudence. And it must make efforts at averting outside attacks with composure and sometimes ingenuity.
The foreign currency reserve of the Central Bank of Hungary amounts to almost half of the present state debt of our country, which the Central Bank will indeed utilize for financing the debt service if necessary. This means that even in this strong headwind Hungary can persist for some time.
It has often happened in history that the appearance of light has immediately been opposed by the appearance of the power of darkness. I wish all of us to become the sons of Light, the builders of a truer and more humane world.
Auxiliary Bishop of the Esztergom–Budapest Archdiocese