Let me give you information in brief of what are the topics I have dealt with in the recent month that concern the social responsibility of Catholic intellectuals. A summary of some papers of mine is to indicate that I am prepared to follow structured discussion on these, and related subjects. These pieces of publication are in Hungarian. I shall still be glad to switch over the English if there is an opportunity to take part in discussion at the international fora of Pax Romana.
The cornerstones of this paper are the strong statements of the pope made in Evangelii gaudium. They are: “.. desidero una Chiesa povera per i poveri.”,
Para. 198; and ”L’inequità è la radice dei mali sociali.”, Para. 202. My paper seeks to approximate the meaning of a „chiesa povera“. I argue that there should be room for communities, which organise themselves button up, and which may be developed differently from each other, while being supportive for the poor. The project of the „chiesa povera“ raises the need that the Catholic church should be refurbished in her very foundations. It is desirable to have a policy of turning back to the spirit of the Second Vaticanum, and accepting the pattern of simplicity as appears, e.g., under the model of the church of new catacombs (Santa Domitilla, 1965). It is at stake whether the Catholic church is able to tread a path of becoming a „chiesa povera“, and whether she will be radical in opposing social inequities. It is also questionable whether she assumes pluralism in handling social, and even theological matters.
This paper is introduced by the motto as follows: “It has never been more timely than today to raise the questions of the freedom of conscience and fundamental rigths“. I have initiated discussion with Professor Özséb Horányi, former president of Hungarian Pax Romana, who concluded in an interview he gave late in this spring in Hungary that it is not our task to be in competition with who is louder in making protestation. Instead, we should be excellent in faithfully fulfilling our duties even if in silence. In this paper, I still conclude that it has been illusory to date for Hungarian Pax Romana to negotiate and look for a balance between various social, ideological and political fractions, while remaining in the very centre. After four years of the second Orbán government that has transformed our system of political liberalism and democracy into a kind of autocracy and corporatism and, in particular, since 2012, the date when the new constitution has been introduced by the Orbán party unilaterally and arbitrarily, abusing of their Parliamentary majority, it has not been either reasonable or ethical to seek for compromises with those who have been personally involved in the establishment. Fair agreements cannot be made by parties, but by those who are equal to each other and enjoy freedom in expressing their ideas. This is not he case in Hungary longer.
Peter Knauer SJ published a paper under the title „Geld anders einrichten”. It is an analysis on the money’s structural non-neutrality and its effects on the capitalist economy. It has been translated into Hungarian, and followed by my critical comments at the website of Mérleg-Digest. The commentary centres on the thesis that this fundamental deficiency of the capitalist economy cannot be removed because there are no alternatives to the social production of capitalism in the real life. Macro-level arrangements of the capitalist economy could still be complemented by small communities and newly invented networks on a micro scale. These communities may provide a material basis for introducing, e.g., media of exchange like local currencies.
This paper is a report on an evening organised this summer by a charismatic Catholic group of prayer in Sfantu Gheorghe, Romania, Szeklerland. The question can be raised what to do with those who are not satisfied by the fake and impersonal liturgy of the Catholic church, but who seek to get remedy for their somatic and mental troubles. It is a question whether it would be possible to integrate into the church religious enthusiasm, or even fanatism. One can ask ourselves whether these events are the signs of innovation, or they rather represent regression into a world out of space and time, turning back into anti-modernism. Those who seek for truth have many troubles, and they clearly want to recover. The church teaches us that we have to make reflections and read the Scriptures through the assistance of the Holy Spirit, in compliance with the Magisterium and in association with the official church tradition. These precepts seem to lose their attractiveness, and even validity, however. The recipe that is offered within the charismatic groups is simple: one should convert himself or herself, and conversion should entail recovery, even physically. The offer of conversion equivalent to recovery is, however, reductionism, bringing about dangers both from psychological and theological perspectives.