Sunday, September 4, 2011

ADSS 8.141 Gabrielle Apor's response to Cardinal Maglione's protest over changes to Hungary's marriage laws.

Following the previous post which set out Cardinal Maglione's protest to the Hungarian government, I present the reply written to Maglione by the Hungarian Minister to the Holy See, Gabrielle Apor.

Apor's response is couched in the customary diplomatic language, makes general and sweeping statements, vague and non-committal.  The Vatican was no threat as far as the Hungarian government was concerned.

Volume and Document Number: ADSS 8.141
Reference: without number (AES 7410/41, original)
Location and date: Rome 06.09.1941
Summary statement: Justification for the race laws in Hungary.
Language: French.


With reference to the letter of 13.08.1941 (1), I have the honour to communicate to Your Eminence:

The Hungarian Government has noted with sincere regret, the fears Your Eminence expressed about the reforms introduced in Hungarian marriage laws.

The Hungarian population is – as is generally known – divided into different religions. Therefore after 47 years the Hungarian State was required to regulate the institution of marriage by statue and introduce legislation to make civil marriage mandatory.

From 1894 the Hungarian government has been, therefore, consistently of the view that the regulation of the institution of marriage is a task for the state: the Hungarian Government has not – after that time – changed its point of view

Vital political interests of the country oblige the Hungarian Government to introduce into the marriage laws new prohibitive measures. These important interests which result as a consequence, in part, of the general European situation, in part special social conditions in Hungary, which have been raised several times by qualified representatives of the Government before the Parliament and expressed by the President of the Council [László von Bardossy] to His Excellency, the Apostolic Nuncio [Angelo Rotta].

During the discussion of the bill in question, the Hungarian Government sought to take account of the views expressed by His Excellency, the Apostolic Nuncio and His Eminence, the Cardinal Prince Primate [Justinian Seredi] to the extent that the political circumstances that have made reform inevitable, allowed them.

The Hungarian Government, on its part, assures the Holy See that the framework of the law will not lose sight of the considerations which the Church places, with great importance, when the law is promulgated and in its implementation.

The Hungarian Government would sincerely regret if these concessions were not entirely satisfactory to the Holy See, but it expresses the hope that this circumstance will not affect the friendly relations that have traditionally existed so well between the Holy See and Hungary since the time of our first king, St Stephen [King of Hungary 1000-1038]

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