Krisztina Tóth: The History of the Diocese of Szombathely under the Church Governance of József Grősz (1936–1944), (CST I/2), Budapest 2015. 336 p. + 4 suppl. (photos)
The book discusses a so far unknown chapter of the 20th century history of the diocese of Szombathely, when József Grősz headed it (from 1936 to 1939 as an apostolic administrator, from 1939 to 1943 as a diocesan and from 1943 to 1944 again as an apostolic administrator). It continues the A szombathelyi egyházmegye története [The history of the diocese of Szombathely] edited in three volumes by the priest historian Gyula Géfin between 1929 and 1935. It has a double importance. On the one hand, it offers a model for writing the history of a diocese based on the principles of the Benedictine monk Tihamér Vanyó adjusting them to the peculiarities of the age. The author presents the background of the appointments of the ordinary, the administration of the diocese, the tasks of the clergy, the role of the religious orders, the Catholic education, the apostolate of the laity and the spiritual movements. On the other hand it offers a glance into the former career of József Grősz, who stood three times on the head of the Bench of Bishops in the absence of the primate, Cardinal József Mindszenty, delineating his principles as regards Church governing.
The writer used a great variety of sources: she conducted research in 13 archives – among them in the Vatican Archives – and 1 manuscript collection. An appendix (source publication, maps and charts), four full page photos and a longer English summary provided with footnotes belong to the volume. It is recommended for all of those who are interested in the history of the diocese or search for additions to the relations of the Holy See and Hungary.