The Conference of Catholic Bishops, co-leader of the KDNP, rejects DK’s “anti-pedophile” bill



The Hungarian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (MKPK) noted Friday that a bill presented by the deputy group leader of the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) on the disclosure of pedophile crimes within religious organizations is contrary to the basic law of Hungary.

The MKPK secretariat released a statement in reaction to the bill presented by Genes Vadai at a press conference outside St. Stephen’s Basilica last week. Vadai said his “real anti-pedophile bill” calls for a full investigation of pedophile crimes within the Hungarian Catholic Church and requires priests to report sex crimes against children even when breaking their oath of confidentiality .

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Under the DK’s plan, the Hungarian Catholic Church may be forced to fully investigate cases of child sexual abuse and make the results public.

MKPK said that in her letter, the DK lawmaker also referred to Pope Francis’ child protection provisions.

In its statement, MKPK said that according to the Basic Law of Hungary and the relevant legislation, all church members and those who work in ecclesiastical institutions are subject to the same rules of criminal law as everyone else. “The law project [submitted by DK] appears to be against these laws, ”he said.

Regarding the child protection provisions of Pope Francis, Tamás Tóth, secretary of the MKPK, said that the Episcopal Conference is aware of and fully respects these provisions, including the one on the seal of confession which he says , “is considered by Pope Francis as a question of no contest”.

Meanwhile, the deputy leader of the ruling Christian Democrats (KDNP) group criticized DK’s bill, saying party leader Ferenc Gyurcsány “thinks he is the Pope” wanting to remove the seal of confession.

“We resolutely reject this open attack on the Catholic Church,” Imre Vejkey said in a statement, accusing DK politicians “of having taken the courage and meddling in business, which is the sole right of the head of Catholic Church.

“It is nothing but a contempt for the church, the constitution and all international conventions and a serious attempt to interfere with canon law,” he said.

featured image: Imre Vejkey of KDNP in Parliament; via Zoltán Balogh / MTI



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