Secular Hungary

Secular Hungary

Blacklisted priests

A couple of years ago, a list appeared on the internet with the names and photos of alleged homosexuals in the Catholic clergy in four Hungarian dioceses. Besides homosexuality, some of them were accused also of criminla offenses (as coruption and paedosexual offenses). The list, whose unknown authors stated that it was far from exhaustive, seems to have been modífied to include new information, was taken down by a hacker, reappeared and finally disappeard in 2007. But the story s not over, as two of the persons listed, both of them bishops, have filed a complaint.
Of course calling someone homosexual is not an insult in itself. Legally speaking, the list is rather an offence against privacy,
and data regarding sexual orientation are entitled to special protection.
One of the two bishops, Miklós Beer, bishop of Vác, meanwhile has retracted his complaint, because – as he says – the penalty would be minimal, anyway, and as it turned out, the culprits were just offended because it was not they who won a tender lauched by the diocese.
The culprits, however, insist that it was not them who composed the list. They just informed informed the bishop in an anonymous e-mail about the fact that his name and photo were listed. They also deny that they were offended becuase a commission was not placed with them – they say they didn’t even participate in the tender. Also, the case of Antal Spányi is still open, since the police has not yet found the culprits.
Contrary to other coutries, in Hungary church institutions have not been accused of turning a blind eye to child molestations, but during the communist regime, after WWII, only a few church schools were allowed to operate, making this community both small and close-knit. After 1989, churches were free to reopen their schools, and they receive state funding.
A few years ago, a priest was accused of offering money in exchange for oral sex to a young man. The priest said that others had used his mobile phone, too, but it turned out that others had received similar text messages, too. The priest was retired. Last fall, a porn actor accused a priest in Jászberény of not paying him for his services. The diocese first stated that they believed the priest was not homosexual, because they had asked the alter boys who hadn’t experienced anything strange (another case of the church not being able to make a difference between consenting adult homosexuality and child molestation), but then suspended him. In 2001, another preist has been accused of molesting a little girl.


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