Catholicism in Hungary in the age of the II Vatican Council. Studies and Inventory

tom. 1
József Török–Péter Tusor–Krisztina Tóth (ed.)

JÓZSEF TÖRÖK–PÉTER TUSOR–KRISZTINA TÓTH (ed.): Catholicism in Hungary in the age of the II Vatican Council. Studies and Inventory, (CST II/1), Budapest 2015. 436 p. + 2 suppl. (photos)


The volume published for the 50th anniversary of the closure of the Second Vatican Council was born within the framework of cooperation with the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences. After the foreword of József Török and Péter Tusor the first part of the book contains studies that approach the Council and its reception from a new point of view, while its second part reveals the results of the considerable collection of data conducted as part of the mentioned cooperation.


The series of studies begins with the paper of Máté Gárdonyi, who gives a general overview about the searching for way of the theology in the socialist society according to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. Balázs Rétfalvi deals with the participation of Sándor Kovács Bishop of Szombathely at the council primarily on the basis of the rich source material kept in the Diocesan Archives of Szombathely. György Sági examines the career of Pál Brezanóczy with particular regards to his participation at the Second Vatican Council. Krisztina Tóth publishes the account written by Sándor Károly Klempa O.Praem to the clergy of his diocese that presents the events through the eyes of a participant.


The volume not only concentrates on the concrete participation at the Council, but it also gives a glimpse about the possibilities of realisation of its ideas and deliberations within the narrow frames that stood up by the communist authorities. Accordingly, Miklós Jávor examines an aspect of the official hierarchy, the Catholic and Protestant „peace organisations” and „peace activity” in the Kádár era. Péter Beke details the activity of the State Office for Church Affairs in Szolnok County in the 1970s. Finally, Bernát Benyhe presents the role of the Bokor community.


The Inventory-part of the book starts with the essay of Krisztina Tóth, who outlines the planning of exploration work, the followed method and the perspectives of the research. This study is followed by the chart about the legacy of the Council Fathers living in Hungary compiled by the research group. It serves as an excellent orientation point for the historians who deal with this subject. The volume contains also an Index of names and places and English summaries.


Scheda Descrittiva dei padri conciliari ungheresi

Krisztina Tóth, Documents of the Hungarian Council Fathers in Hungarian Archives. Lessons and perspectives of a teamwork,  Il concilio Vaticano II alla luce degli archivi dei padri conciliari (a cura di Philippe Chenaux), Roma 2015, 253–269.