Secular Hungary

Sunday, 11 April 2010


Last year, a reformed bishop suggested that the churches receive back not only their buildings, but also the arable land that was taken away from them after WWII (the catholic church used to be one of the biggest land owners until them). The question is being discussed (not too vividly, however) in the intellectual weekly 'És' ('And'--its real name is 'Élet és irodalom', i.e. 'Life and Literature', but I have not once heard its whole name and it's referred to even in writing as 'És').
Csaba Fazekas and György Gábor argue that the churches did not own their estates but received them for use only by the kings, who paid them for their services to society through providing them with a revenue from these estates. I.e. they did not receive any property rights but only the rights to the net revenue drawn from the estates. Accodring to them, one of course could argue that the churches get back their land, but this would mean that all state funding would have to cease completely.;24710