Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Hungary’s constitution: pro-life, but no recognition for Islam, ‘smaller Catholic orders’

Catholic World News - January 04, 2012

The new Hungarian constitution, which protects life from the moment of conception and bans same-sex marriage, will also have an impact upon religious freedom.

Writing in The New York Times, Kim Lane Scheppele, director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University, says that the new constitution, which took effect on January 1, discriminates against Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and several Protestant denominations, as well as against many Catholic religious orders.

Scheppele writes:

What does the law on churches do? It creates 14 state-recognized religions, and decertifies the rest. On January 1, over 300 denominations lose their official status in Hungary--including their tax exemptions and their abilities to run state-funded schools.

While most of the denominations are tiny, many are not. Among the religions that will no longer be able to operate with state approval are all versions of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Baha’i, as well as many smaller Catholic orders including the Benedictines, Marists, Carmelites and Opus Dei, and a number of major Protestant denominations including Episcopalians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, Methodists, and all but one of the evangelical churches. One each of the orthodox, conservative and liberal Jewish synagogues are recognized; but all other Jewish congregations are not.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our July expenses ($15,467 to go):
$35,000.00 $19,533.29
44% 56%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: ColmCille - Jan. 06, 2012 4:57 PM ET USA

    Sounds "great?" How can it be great if some Catholic orders aren't recognized (while some Protestant groups are)? If Hungary were truly Catholic in government, culture and social institutions, and chose to legally recognize only Catholicism (while tolerating other religions), that's fine. As in Medieval Europe, legal equality (or tolerance of formal heresy) can destroy the very foundation of a Catholic state. But that's not what is happening. The life and marriage provisions sound good, though.

  • Posted by: mgreen32234 - Jan. 05, 2012 2:37 PM ET USA

    As a pro-lifer and a 110% Roman Catholic, this sounds great to me. But as we say at Zucotti Park, it isn't FAIR! : )

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Wanted: a balanced Catholic perspective on immigration 1 hours ago
Renewal with God before Us: Christ Determines All 18 hours ago
Sons of Dominic Prepare for Family Synod July 29
Dominican theologians assess proposals for divorced and remarried July 29
The ‘Pope Francis effect’—changing the way the world sees the papacy July 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21