chapter  15
20 Pages

‘Do not Lead us into (Fascist) Temptation’: The Catholic Church in Interwar Hungary Béla Bodó

The outbreak of the democratic revolution at the end of October 1918, followed by the declaration of independence and the foundation of Hungary’s first democratic government, caught the Catholic hierarchy by surprise. The church elite, at first, raised few objections to the democratic experiment. To show their good faith, the bishops even delegated a priest, János Hock, to join the new democratic government; they also announced that the church was prepared to discuss a whole range of cultural and social issues, including the possibility of land reform. Church leaders emphasised that they, like liberal politicians, had been opposed to the war; like them, they were also eager to find a way out of the deepening sociopolitical crisis.