Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – “The first to pay the price in the spread of secularization, is the family, that in Hungary is also experiencing a serious crisis. The symptoms are evident in the declining number of marriages and the impressive rise in the number of divorces, oftentimes untimely. There is thus an increase in the number of so-called ‘de facto couples,’ You yourselves have criticized the public recognition of homosexual unions, as they not only go against the teachings of the Church, but also against the Hungarian Constitution. This situation, together with the lack of support for large families, has led to a drastic decline in the birthrate, even more acute with the spread of abortion.”
These were the words of the Holy Father Benedict XVI in his address to the Hungarian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, whom he received in an audience of May 10, on the occasion of their Ad Limina Apostolorum visit.
“Naturally, the crisis of the family presents a great challenge for the Church, as it places in question conjugal fidelity and, more in general, the values on which society is based. It is evident, therefore, that after the family, those who must suffer from this difficulty are the youth. In the cities, the youth are attracted by new forms of entertainment and in the smaller towns, they are often abandoned on their own.”
The Holy Father expressed his appreciation for the initiatives carried out by the Church, “though with the limited means at her disposal, to animate the world of youth with formational activities and friendships that stimulate their sense of responsibility.” This field also includes the activity of choirs, with the incentive of spreading sacred music, and the support of Catholic schools and the Catholic University of Budapest, the evangelization of the culture, including through the mass media, in which the Church there has made great advances.
In his address, the Pope recalled that “the long period of communist rule left a deep mark on the Hungarian people, and even today its consequences are evident, particularly in the difficulty many find in trusting others, a typical trait of people who have long lived in an atmosphere of suspicion. The sense of insecurity is accentuated by the difficult economic situation, which thoughtless consumerism does nothing to improve. People, including Catholics, suffer from that ‘weakness’ of thought and will which is so common in our times.” “In this context,” Benedict XVI continued, “In such a situation the Church must certainly be a teacher, but always and above all a mother, so as to favor the development of reciprocal trust and the promotion of hope.”
The Pontiff pointed out the Bishops’ effort in “maintaining the faith of the people alive” through the organization of traditional activities “as pilgrimages and expressions of veneration to Hungarian saints,” and expressed his concern for “the lack of priests and the consequent overburden of pastoral work on the current ministers of the Church.” In this context, he encouraged the priests to nurture their spiritual life, so that they might “remain able to discern the essential from the secondary, identifying the right priorities for everyday life.”
“Despite secularization the Catholic Church remains, for many Hungarians, the religious community of choice or, at least, an important point of reference. It is therefore to be hoped that relations with State authorities remain characterized by respectful collaboration, thanks also to bilateral agreements…which will be a benefit to the entire Hungarian society, especially in the area of education and culture.” (Source)
“An atmosphere of suspicion”.
That sounds a lot like what’s going on in Canada with the thugs at the Human Rights Commissions. Hungary is trying to shake off the effects of Communist Rule and we’re volunteering for it!