Secular Hungary

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Abuse management in Hungary

The child abuse scandal of the catholic church has not reached Hungary, and as during the communist era only a handfull of church schools were allowed to operate, the number of children abused in the last couple of decades cannot be as high as in countries where schools and children's homes were often managed by churches. This of course also means that any victim knows s/he is alone and they won't be any masses to support them.
Still, such things happen once in a while,
and in the last five years three "church persons" (statistics don't say which church) have been accused of sexual abuse. Now a catholic theologist, Mr János Wildmann has accused the bishop of Eger, Mr Csaba Ternyák of protecting an abusive priest. Of course only an investigation could show if this is true, but the problem is that no investigation has been conducted. The theologist has denounced the bishop only to church authorities, while the bishop says he should have gone to the police. The problem is that church rules say that police may be informed only if the local law requires this, if not, the victim should be encouraged to palce a complaint. - In Hungary, it is not compulsory to inform the police about such suspicions.
No investigation has been made by the church in this issue - to the contrary, they have informed those involved in the alledged abuse case, even giving the name of the person who has complained. This, accoding to Wildmann, gives the perpetrators enough time to "talk" to the witnesses and destroy any pieces of evidence. Something similar has happend last year when a priest was accused of homosexuality: the papal nuncio, Juliusz Janusz asked the bishop for his opinion, giving the name of the informant.
Meanwhile, also a Hungarian homepage has been set up to improve the prstige of the church by a well known francicsan friar Csaba Böjte, who believes that while one has to speak about the one percent of priests, who have abused children, there are so many more "who bend down (sic) to us with incredible goodness and love".

Two countries to the north, both the Polish people and the Polish catholic church are stunned and shocked that the Vatican has rehabilitated Juliusz Paetz, the former bishop of Poznan (North-West of Poland), who had to step down in 2002 because it had been proved that he had sexually abused several young men at the seminary. At the time, he not only lost his status as bishop, but also the right to ordinate priests and hand out sacraments. The Vatican has not give any explanation for the rehabilitation.