Fr. Marek Łuczak talks with the vice-president of the National Group of Hungary dr. Janos Latorcaim about Polish-Hungarian cooperation and mutual perspectives in Europe on the occasion of a meeting of Polish and Hungarian parliamentarians in Jasna Góra, especially for the ‘Sunday’

Fr. MAREK ŁUCZAK: – The Hungarian Christian Democrats is very active in the international arena. Laszlo Surjan has recently taken over the office of a vice-president in the commission responsible for contacts with Churches and religious and worldview communities within the European Union. What significance has it got?

JANOS LATORCAL: – In the beginning I would like to express my gratitude to the weekly ‘Sunday’ for its being interested in Hungarian matters. As far as a dialogue with Churches is concerned, we notice a great chance here, but it is also high responsibility. It has got stronger recently in the connection with values crisis, with which whole Europe is struggling. It is proved by the fact that any words referring to Gad have been removed from the Constitution of the European Union. It was a clear signal for us that today’s Europe is not building its identity on the basis of Christian fundaments which makes us believe that today new evangelisation is necessary. There is no our consent to the statement that religion is only a human private thing. The truth is that religion can be discussed in the categories of a private matter, but let’s remember that religion is also one of the most important elements organising social life. So, it is difficult to agree with the thesis which is more and more often repeated here and there that the Church should be isolated from the State. Some Churches are worried by this statement so much and resign from expressing their opinions about political issues. I do not agree with it and nor do our Christian Democrats. After all, functioning of the state without the support from the Church would be in half. Churches do some tasks, essential from the point of view of the state. The common field for both organisms is surely education or social care. Certain efforts are connected with the realisation of these tasks, so, as politicians, we are fighting so that Churches would receive full support from the state. Our efforts take place on both in-land and EU sphere. Within our actions of the mentioned commission we want to implement the principles of the Catholic social teaching of the Church.

– What decides about the power of the Christian Democrats in Hungary?

– It used to be different with the Christian Democrats in our country. We used to fall victims to big aggression of liberal parties, and earlier the communist ones. The society used to be subjected to long-term brainwashing. After the collapse of communism, previous agents also came to the fore, who joined our units, in order to discriminate the Christian doctrine in politics. These actions resulted in the collapse of the Christian Democrats in the democratic system forming anew. When we were trying to verify our units and lead to a bigger clarity on the political arena, an alternative party of Christian Democrats was created in order to aim it against us. As a result, it caused a visual failure because parties fighting against each other and referring to Christian values are a laughing-stock and compromise each other. In consequence, in 1997 we had to dissolve the party of the Christian Democrats and its restoration was not earlier than in 2002. Since then we have been cooperating strongly with the Fidesz party.

– One of the fruits of this cooperation is the Hungarian Constitution...

– As long as there was no place for God in the European Constitution, our basic document begins with the preamble. Another important thesis is a principle that the basis of our society is a family, what is important – defined as a relationship between a man and a woman; whereas the most important purpose of marriage is giving birth to descendants who will secure our future. According to the teaching of John Paul II, in the constitution, we considered the holiness of human life which begins with the conception and lasts till the natural death, and through this we have excluded abortion and euthanasia. If we were not fighting for considering these values, we could not call ourselves Christian Democrats. After all the Christian identity is based on it.

– Don’t you see, on this basis, the sources of ostracism towards Hungary from some EU institutions?

– It is surely one of the reasons for attacks on us on the international arena. Beside it w should also mention taxing banks which was considered as touching a sensitive point of the international community. Through these regulations we breached the previous law and order in which some people can be untouchable; whereas our philosophy is simple: burdens connected with a crisis are to be imposed fairly on everybody, not only on the poorest ones. The factors for which we are responsible in the European saloons should also include our national provenience which we emphasize with conviction. So, despite the tendency whose purpose is blurring the feeling of the national identity, we strongly support considering our cultural roots. Moreover, we are not afraid to repeat that the notion of the Hungarian nation is connected with Christianity very much, because a long history has decided about it.

– In these opinions a field for Polish-Hungarian cooperation is undoubtedly revealed.

– Among the countries of the whole Europe we find it nearest to Poland. It is conditioned by the common history, but, first of all, the mutual solidarity. When one country was in trouble, it could rely on another. We are looking at Poland hopefully. We believe that secularization will not collect here harvest similar to the one which took place in Hungary.

– What is the purpose of the meeting among Hungarian and Polish parliamentarians?

– It is our first official meeting with the Seym Commission. We have already had an opportunity many times to meet on other occasions but this conversation is particularly open and honest. The fact that we began our contacts in Częstochowa, in Jasna Góra, gives more satisfaction. We talk not only about the Hungarian or Polish but also European issues and the purpose of the meeting are not only conversations, but first of all working out a common strategy of action. We are thinking about the future of Europe in which we do not want to be marginalised - and we can achieve it together.


"Niedziela" 28/2012

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl