Hungary’s Jesuits and Orbán’s attempt to exploit Pope Francis’s visit to Romania

Hungary’s Catholic leadership is firmly behind Orbán, in fact, church events often serve as political tools to spread Orbán’s nationalist message in the Carpathian basin.

Pope Francis plans to visit Romania and is expected to celebrate an outdoor Mass on June 1, 2019 at the shrine of Our Lady of Csíksomlyó, a pilgrimage site near Şumuleu Ciuc, Romania. This is a historic site of the Seklers (Székelyek), a mostly Catholic Hungarian speaking minority in Romania. Hungarian government officials regularly attend the annual pilgrimage. Only about 5% of Romania’s population is Catholic and less than half of the Hungarian speaking population follows the Catholic faith, the rest is Reformed, Unitarian and Eastern Orthodox in this region.

Csíksomlyó pilgrimage near Şumuleu Ciuc in Romania.

The planned outdoor mass may attract 500,000 people; the Pope’s speech will be translated to Hungarian. Marc Roscoe Loustau, a Catholic writer whose work appears in the Jesuit magazine America, warns that Hungarian officials might “try to exploit Pope Francis’ trip to Romania at the end of May to embolden hostile attitudes toward migrants and refugees.” (Read Loustau’s article here.)

Indeed, pro-Orbán Catholics want to make this event a nationalist showcase. The Jesuit publication is worried that although “many Hungarians go to Csíksomlyó to pray and ask the Virgin Mary for help. But others have political motivations that flagrantly contradict Catholic social teaching.” Orbán stands against everything that Pope Francis was for when he famously invited a group of Syrian refugees onto his plane to Rome. Hungary’s President János Áder already announced that he will travel to Csíksomlyó; Orbán is tight-lipped about his plans.

Hungary’s President János Áder (left), his wife and Mr. Zsolt Semjén Hungary’s deputy Prime Minister at the pilgrimage in 2017.

Loustau points out that not every Hungarian Catholic official is “comfortable hobnobbing with right-wing populists.” A couple of weeks ago Csíksomlyó’s Catholic leadership got into an argument with activists when they pressured the priest to support “a quasi-political ritual” after Mass.

Pro-Orbán Hungarian Jesuits were offended by Loustau’s article. The leader of the Hungarian Jesuits is Elemér Vizí, an ethnic Hungarian born in Romania in Miercurea Ciuc (Csíkszereda in Hungarian) not far from the site of the pilgrimage. Hungary’s Society of Jesus issued an unusual statement accusing Loustau that he is using the Pope’s visit for his own “political agenda.” (Read it here – in Hungarian.)

Elemér Vizí SJ, leader of the Hungarian Jesuits

Pope Francis will arrive to Bucharest, Romania on May 31 and will meet with state and church leaders. On June 1, Francis will travel to Csíksomlyó and on June 2, he will take part in the beatification of Greek-Catholic martyred bishops in Balázsfalva/Blaj and also meet members of the local Roma community.

György Lázár

25 Comments

  1. Pope Francis should acknowledge that the most persecuted persons are Christians and must try to protect them.

    Until such time, the Pope starts speaking about protecting Catholics and other Christians, he should be ignored and shunned. One of the Pope’s duty is to protect the persecuted, in this case Catholics and Christians in the Middle-East and Africa.

  2. StrandedinSopron says:

    I doubt very much Orban will be gracing Csiksomlyo with his presence.
    Unlike the State-Approved “christian” churches in Hungary he has no control over what the Holy Father may say.

    Imagine the ranting and foaming at the mouth in the Orbanist media if Pope Francis were to suggest following the tenets of scripture in regards to refugees and outsiders generally? “Love thy neighbor”(Slovakia? Romania? Ukraine?) may cause spontaneous combustion in the heads of the Fidesz/neo-nazi segment of the crowd.

    No, Orban would have to be a very brave man to chance all that and one thing we know he is lacking is genuine courage.

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  6. Florian Radu says:

    If Hungarian officials really plan to exploit Pope’s visit to Romania in order to promote their xenophobic, nationalist agenda, the first to take offense will be Romanians, in Transylvania and the rest of the country. It is one thing to spew Jobbik-type idiocies in Budapest, and something else to do it on Romanian soil, in the presence of a honored guest of Romanians.

    Presently, Romanians have the least nationalist tendencies among the peoples in the region, but I am pretty sure that any Hungarian (even veiled) criticism against their guest, the Pope, will make the headlines of the national media and will be seen as an attack and insult towards the Romanian “hosting-nation”, from the “national enemy” which Hungary is traditionally considered to be. For sure, some Romanians will point out that this is happening exactly 100 years after Romanian Royal Army destroyed the Hungarian Bolshevik Army of Bela Kun, Lenin’s friend, the founder of first Soviet-type state born outside USSR… Back then, Hungarian “Red Troops” were trying to connect with the Russian ones, between Czechoslovakia and Romania, but the Romanian army managed to resist the assault on the Tisza line, repel it and then march on Budapest, while Moscow armies were defeated by Poles and Ukrainians. I doubt nobody will see the similarities between 2019 and 1919, with Budapest at odds with all her neighbors, and the pro-Russian Orban regime positioned in contradiction with the rest of pro-EU European countries under the leadership of France (who in 1919 was the main power encouraging Bucharest to fight and annihilate the “Bolshevik Hungary”)…

    Another thing: the Greek-Catholic community that Pope Francis will honor during its presence in Şumuleu Ciuc is composed mostly by ethnic Romanians, and from this community many Romanian patriots have originated, in the last centuries. Offending the Pope when he is honoring heroes of the Romanian national struggle in Transylvania, one year after the celebration of the Centenary of the Great Union of Romanian provinces? I wonder if anybody will think this to be the result of a mistake from the part of Budapest, and not an intentional insult towards Romanians and their national dignity.

    All in all, clumsy actions from Budapest leaders during Pope’s visit may revive anti-Hungarian attitudes in Romanian political landscape, up to the point that some Romanian political actors may consider using this situation in their benefit. At this very moment, there is no Romanian nationalist-extremist party in Romania, in the parliament or outside of it, but next year we will have general elections, and stupid actions from Orban&co. may contribute in changing this reality. Another outcome may be that the political party of Magyars in Romania may be left outside the new government of 2020 (which is already a possibility, given this party association to the present government, much accused of anti-EU tendencies and corruption).

    If I would be a Romanian fervent nationalist, I would pretty muck like to see Orban and his allies exposing themselves once more and provoking Romanian nationalist sentiments [btw, those who think Hungarians are loud nationalists should try provoking some Romanians and see the results 🙂 ]. However, I know that most of Magyars living in Romania are honest people, like many Hungarians in proper Hungary, and they don’t deserve to suffer the consequences of the stupid populism embraced by their leaders… Therefore, I hope common sense will prevail among our Western neighbors, and Pope Francis visit in Romania (the biggest Christian Orthodox country a Pope visited so far since the schism of 1054) will go as smoothly as the visit of Pope John Paul II, 20 years ago.

    • “Presently, Romanians have the least nationalist tendencies among the peoples in the region”. Ha!!!!

      Small town of Korond was just handed a 100,000 Euro fine because Romanian authorities did not like the translation they used for the word “city hall”, from Romanian to Hungarian.

      In town of Brasov one can see the local flag flying in front of prefecture, while just kilometers away majority Hungarian towns are fined for adopting local flags.

      Companies have been taken to court, fined for using the label “Ssekely Izek”, or “Seklers flavors”. That would be the same as companies being fined for writing “Taste of Banat” on a label, which we both know would not result in such fines.

      These are just some recent examples, and the list can certainly get much longer, if you wish for more examples. So come again with your claim?

      BTW Mr. Editor, If you do some research, you can find Romanian towns in Hungary which adopted the Romanian flag as the local flag. So its not even a local flag, but the flag of another country. So in regards to a claim you made in a recent article, which I called you on, and you decided to censor me for it, you might want to compare treatment here.

      • Florian Radu says:

        Joe, you take advantage of the fact that people posting / reading here have maybe not enough time or will to check the real facts and see how far are these from what you claim to be true…

        The mayor of the town of Korund/Corun, Katona Mihály, was fined by the Court because he has refused to apply a previous Court decision which was definitive, not because “Romanian authorities did not like the translation” he used for the label.
        Initially, the mayor posted on the City hall the label „Kozseghaza”, a word used in Hungary, instead of „Polgarmesteri Hivatal”, which is used on tens of other City halls in Romania, in towns and villages where Magyars inhabitants are in significant number (more than 20%). Why he did this? Probably because he wants to live in Hungary, so he decided to modify the landscape around him to make it look as in Hungary? Maybe.
        However, a local civic group filled a complain in the court and the court decided that the wrong inscription should be removed. The mayor did remove it, but after couple days he changed his mind and placed again the wrong label on the building. So, he had the chance to remove the wrong inscription, which was deemed by the court as not in accordance with the administrative law (the Romanian law, because we live in Romania), and therefore avoid the fine, paying only the judicial fees. But he refused, probably wanting to portrait himself as a “martyr” of Hungarian nationalism… Good for him. As in any judicial system in the world, refusing to obey a final rule of a court is an offense, punishable with a significant and often heavy fine. Now, he has to pay this fine and the judicial fees…

        Joe, IMO all this was a stupidity from the beginning. However you seem to believe that because a Magyar started it, then it is not stupid, but what? a “heroic” action from a representative of an “oppressed” population?! Ha-Ha! LOL!

        BTW, talking about comparisons: I do hope that everybody will put this case in balance with the actions and position expressed by the Hungarian Jobbik Party in the last years, and see the difference.

        Joe, I invite you to agree to disagree. Because despite your arguments, I believe my statement stands: by any standard, today (and for years already) Romanians have the least nationalist tendencies among the peoples in the region – from Greece to Ukraine and from Hungary to Russia. Maybe we were just lucky, but there is no Nazi movement in Romania, no Jobbik-type of a party active on political stage, no Marine Le Pen, no religious conservatives or far-right political groups marching and shouting against immigrants, Roma, Muslims, etc. The only marches and protests we have are pro-EU and against corrupted politicians. May I remind you that the so-called Referendum for the Traditional Family (an obsession of conservatives and extremists from the right) failed in Romania?
        Joe, as a pro-Orban Hungarian, maybe you should refrain to give lectures about tolerance to people who voted a double-minority person in the highest position of their country, as me and millions of Romanians did with Klaus Johannis, the Romanian president, a Saxon/German by ethnicity and a Lutheran by faith.
        Nobody is perfect, and Romania is not a perfect country, but let’s be serious: oppressing minorities? When the head of National Council Against Discrimination is a Magyar? And the head of the Romanian Governmental Department for Sustainable Development? And the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania is in alliance with the governing coalition, part of the power for years already? And I could go like this for pages…

        • Yes, Korond, court order to take the sign down, because they objected to translation, which was absurd to say the least, given that it was a correct use of the Hungarian term for “city hall”. Tell me which Romanian law specifies what Hungarian language translation must be used for “city hall”? Law and judge orders must be followed, as long as they are just. Unjust rulings warrant resistance!

          The fact I pointed out in regards to local flags, where Brasov and other Romanian towns seem to have one law applied and ethnic Hungarian towns another law, which is a fact you cannot dispute, says all we need to know about Romanian justice and Romanian court rulings, in relation to ethnic Hungarians, therefore your whole argument (follow the law) is BS.

          As for the Johannis argument? Its a joke! Yes, he is not of Romanian ethnicity, but he belongs to an ethnicity Romanians love, for the simple reason that they had the decency to largely disappear from your “sacred lands”, no longer soiling it with their presence. If today there would still be 700,000 ethnic Germans and they would ask for the same rights their cousins in South Tyrol enjoy, do you think Johannis would have still been elected president of Romania? He is not an ethnic German, he is an opportunist, taking advantage of the desire of Romanians to get some German management.

          BTW that ethnic German has not spoken up even once against such injustice. He said nothing even when Romania’s prime minister threatened to hang Hungarians not long ago. In fact, from what I hear, hardly any Romanian officials spoke up. Explains why Romanians elected him!

        • Also, a good example of “Romanian tolerance” was the closing of a Hungarian language school in Marosvasarhely, based on a bureaucratic technicality. Not only the act of closing the school itself, but how the parents were treated. They were taken in for questioning, asked why they put their kids in that school, threatened to hold their kids back a year and to bring in the kids for questioning. It is not hearsay, it was a similar recount events given by dozens of families.

          Follow the law!

  7. Florian Radu says:

    @Joe
    quote: “Law and judge orders must be followed, as long as they are just. Unjust rulings warrant resistance!”

    Question is: who decides what rule is just and what rule is not?! Based on what criteria? Of being part of a “superior race”? Or of having blue eyes?

    As for Germans soiling some “sacred lands”… wow! Harsh are these words that you seem familiar with. Isn’t this the standard Jobbik line, that we, Romanians, we are “soiling the sacred Hungarian lands”? Just asking.

    Joe, my friend, I have spent years in Kosovo after the 1999 war, working with both Serbs and Albanians. You know what I have learned there?
    That harsh words always breed bad feelings, and prejudice, and alienation, making people grow apart day by day, separating them not in “us” and “them”, but in “us” AGAINST “them”, and kids are told by elders “this is not your country” and “you should not learn their language in school” (and any kid will agree that not learning something is always easier than learning something…), and suddenly the schools are separated, and when it is not possible they are used in the morning by “us” and in the evening by “them” because we are “different” and “THEY are anyway a people without culture”, and everything “they” do is done on purpose against “us”, and thus new generations fight the battles of old generations, most of the time not even knowing it (because we MUST to avenge this or that and to succeed where our grandfathers have failed!), and then smart, educated people start leaving the place since there is no middle line anymore and both communities are shunning the “traitors” because (e.g.) “we should marry among ourselves”, and decent people start leaving too, or say “we will not involve ourselves in this fight” (as if it’s possible to stay aside when “the nation is calling” to march/protest/hang by the neck a doll representing the “enemy”…), and suddenly the most important thing is not even to win something useful, but to make the “others” to lose control over something in “our” favor, no matter how irrelevant it may be (like the name of the City Hall, or the name of a street, or even a flag), and while everybody is busy contributing to the “cause”, nobody sees that years have passed and precious time was lost, and life is not better, work is scarce, development is still in the project (although “we always elected mayors from our community, and they were great patriots, only they had no idea about the management of the town”), and of course, foreign investments cannot be allowed here if this means bringing workers from outside our community!, however, these uneducated “patriots” end up being popular “heroes”, and everybody feels this is not OK, but hey, at least we have our flag, isn’t so? and if we need work and money, we go abroad, but not in the mother country, because they don’t like us too much, and they say we speak funny, and we should stay here and fight the “others”, in the name of our forefathers…

    • “That harsh words always breed bad feelings,”

      Ok. But what can we then say about the harsh, unjust treatment I cited plenty of examples of?

      You are mostly quiet on those.

      I asked you to enlighten us on what legal basis it was decided that the translation was wrong?

      On what legal basis Brasov can have a local flag, while dozens of ethnic Hungarian towns cannot?

      On what legal basis does your country stop private companies from putting the label “Szekler flavors” on a food product, while one can claim any regional, local flavor that is Romanian?

      On what legal basis did they drag those parents in for questioning and threats, only because their kids went to a school?

      Its funny that you mentioned earlier how Romanians took to the streets to fight “corruption”. Romanians as a society are not ready for a country that has rule of law. Not as long as your true attitude is that “we want justice, but not for them”. The examples I cited suggest that at the moment, that is where Romanian society is. Not the above regional average tolerant society you falsely claim.

      • Florian Radu says:

        Joe, you seem to already have all the answers you need, so what would be the point for me to go through your examples of half-truths and misinterpreted events that you ask to be explained? What would be the point to quote laws and rules, when you have such a relative position towards the rule of law?
        For example, do you really don’t know that the high-school from Targu Mures that you mentioned was established by the Local Council in violation of the education law, since they did not had the required pre-approval of the Education Ministry? The kids and their parents were victims not of Romanians, but of their own people, Magyars members of the City Council, who voted to establish the school without following the proper procedure. Do you really think that anywhere in the world, this policy of fait-accompli (“we do what we want, and f*&k the law, we will ask for approval post-factum!”) would be accepted? Why this school was not established with due procedure, as any other of the hundreds of schools teaching only in Hungarian that exist already in Romania?

        You say that I am quiet about your questions… Wrong. First, because as you may see, I am not quiet, since I had answered two of them already (it’s not my fault that you don’t like the answers). Second, they are not questions, but propaganda slogans, and I see no reason to indulge your appetite for twisting the truth for the sake of victimization.
        Anyway, since you have so many questions about what Romanians do wrong towards Magyars, maybe you have some answers about your co-nationals?
        For example, where in my post about Kosovo situation would you think it would fit the actions and statements towards Romanians made by some individuals of Romanian citizens of Hungarian ethnicity as Katona Adam, Csibi Barna, Beke István Attila şi Szőcs Zoltán?

        • You did not in any way answer my question in regards to that school, because I asked about the legality of how they treated the parents, which you did not address. You offered an excuse instead, in regards to why the school had to be closed “they did not have the correct signatures”, in a country where no one is quite sure what the rules are, because most of the time one law will contradict another. Nor did you address the legality of the initial Korond ruling about the translation. You asked who is to say what is just? Proof that it is not is right here, it lies with your inability to directly address these issues, opting for misdirection instead. Your arguments are like a doctor saying that the patient could not have died of a heart attack, because the liver was just fine.

          Finally, I want to point out that you in fact provided us with a clear example of typical “Romanian tolerance”, earlier. That big paragraph that starts with “Joe my friend……”. In which you in fact managed to make the same argument that a typical Chinese official would make about Tibet. “Forget defending your identity, culture, language, symbols, traditions, let us all prosper together”. In other words, resist and suffer, comply and we will make life a bit easier! Very “enlightened” indeed! Thanks!!!

      • Florian Radu says:

        Joe,
        about the label “Szekler flavors” (or “Szekler product”), your insistence that using this trademark in Romania is forbidden or prevented by Romanian authorities made me curious, so I did some research over the internet.

        Thus, I have found this bilingual website (RO- HU) , http://www.szekelytermek.ro, which presents a lot of products marketed as SZÉKELY TERMÉK / PRODUS SECUIESC.
        Furthermore, at this page on the same site, http://www.szekelytermek.ro/?l=hu&m=documente, there are several documents, available in Hungarian, while (only) the first one is available on Romanian. This (main) document is called <>.

        This Regulations says that the owner of the trademark
        is the Harghita County Council, a local authority body run by Magyars (since Harghita County is one of the two, out of 40 counties in Romania, in which Magyars are forming the majority population). This organization has registered the label and is in charge of “coordination and control of the procedure of permitting the usage of the trademark”, while the decision to grant the usage belongs to a special Commission, its members being nominated by the president of the Harghita County Council.
        (Nota bene: out of 31 members of this Council, 27 are Magyars, while only 5 are Romanians).

        The president of the Harghita County Council, Borboly Csaba, has a short statement on the homepage of http://www.szekelytermek.ro, presenting the initiative and the Council intentions to promote the SZÉKELY TERMÉK trademark in and outside Romania (well, Romania is not mentioned by name, but it says “on indigenous shops and those abroad”).
        There is no mentioning, whatsoever about this trademark being forbidden by Romanian legislation (I would think any such interdiction would offer a great opportunity for victimization of Magyars and accusations towards Romanians and Bucharest government…)

        A second thing I have found online is a report from 2013 issued by the Romanian National Agency for Consumer’s Protection, http://www.anpc.gov.ro/articol/265/comercializarea-produselor-de-patiserie-a-gogosilor-si-covrigilor, and this is about the selling donuts and pretzels in Romania . The text is only in Romanian, however, searching the names of the two Magyar-dominated counties in Romania, Harghita si Covasna, I’ve found a mention of “cozonaci secuiesti” (Szekely piskótatészta) which were on a list of products found by Agency’s inspectors at fault by “lacking any elements of identification-description”. More exactly, the products were sold without any labels. The report quotes directly the name “cozonaci secuiesti” (Szekely piskótatészta), and makes no mention about any contradiction to the law in connection with the usage of “secuiesti/Szekely” label/trademark.

        Third thing found oline: an article of the RADO Agency, part of the National radio Broadcaster – Radio Romania (stat/public – managed broadcaster, like BBC or Radio Sofia):
        http://www.rador.ro/2015/03/14/targul-de-produse-traditionale-secuiesti-ozosep-se-desfasoara-in-capitala/
        It is from 2015, and informs the people of Bucharest that a fair of “produse traditionale secuiesti” (traditional Szekely products) will be organized in Romania’s capital city, offering the possibility to meet merchants/producers from Harghita.

        Conclusion, based on what I was able to find online:
        – the “Szekely product” trademark exists, and is managed by the County Council of the Romanian Harghita County in which the population is majority Magyar, which makes the Council to be dominated by Magyars;
        – there trademark cannot be used anyway, by only via a permit/certificate issued by a commission appointed by the Harghita County Council (and probably most of the members of the commission are Magyars);
        – even since 2013, Romanian Governmental bodies have no problems with products labeled “secuiesti/Szekely”, as long as the products have labels with the info required by law (as anywhere in the world, to know the content of the product is more important than the name of the product);
        – the National Radio Company journalists have, also, no problem with the label/trademark “produse secuiesti/Szekely products”, au contraire, they use it without any problem in their media content;
        – last, but not least, I have found no information about cases of companies in Romania that are prevented by Romanian authorities, in any way, “from putting the label “Szekler flavors” on a food product” (quote from Joe’s post). If there is more infor, then it may be in Hungarian, and as I don’t speak this language, I cannot make progress in this direction. However, I would say that most probably if a Romanian company was prevented to use the trademark, the body issuing the interdiction was the Harghita County Council, based on its role in “control and coordination” of the trademark’s usage (e.g., in case the respective company did not follow the proper procedure to obtain a permit – which, by the way, costs no money).

        Joe, if there is more info on this topic as to clarify your accusations, please pass it to me here. I am really curious to further investigate this issue, which, in terms of ways used by majorities to oppress minorities in present days, it may be one of the trickiest that I ever heard of 🙂

        • https://gondola.hu/hirek/170303-Nincs_olyan__hogy_szekely_iz_.html

          http://slagerradio.ro/2019/01/21/eloleptettek-mircea-diacon-haromszeki-fogyasztovedot/

          Perhaps you will not trust me to translate, so perhaps you can ask editor of this site to confirm what I have been saying.

          The Romanian official who has been harassing Hungarians just got a promotion. Job well done I guess!

          • Florian Radu says:

            Thanks for the info.
            I made use of google translate and I think I got the picture (also, I have found several articles on the same topic, from Magyar-language websites and also Romanian websites, using as searching word the name of the Romanian official).
            In summary:
            – the abuse that the Romanian inspector was accused of happened in 2015, during an inspection in a shop of a Magyar vendor;
            – the Magyar businessman complained that he was fined because the label “Szekely flavour” used on some meat products, while the Romanian inspector said the fine was issued for good with expired warranty found on the shelves (which the owner of the shop admitted they were);
            – I was not able to establish if the inspection was conducted by the Romanian inspector, or by one of his Magyar colleagues (as he declared in 2015, in this interview https://www.cotidianul.ro/razbunare-de-tip-mafiot-in-covasna/ ; however, based on some statements made by the Romanian inspector to local media (arguing that there is no such a thing as “Szekely flavour”) a complaint was filed against the Romanian official, to the National Anti-Discrimination Council (CNCD) (btw, a body managed by a Hungarian ethnic, Asztalos Csaba, a nice guy and quite competent person, whom I had the pleasure to meet once); in 2017, the CNCD investigation concluded with the decision to dismiss the complaint.

            The general impression I got from the articles is that the Romanian inspector from Consumer Protection Agency has managed to upset various local businessmen and local authorities of Magyar ethnicity. His accusers are suggesting that his decisions are based on anti-Magyar feelings , while he replies that he is only doing his job and applies the law, refusing to turn a blind eye to various wrongdoings and irregularities, no matter the ethnicity of those at fault (as he declares in the interview mentioned above). As for the official accusations of discrimination, the National Council decision has settled that.

            All in all, in my opinion, the topic is more an issue of the past, since today – as presented in my previous post – the label “Szekeli product” is officially registered and currently managed by local authorities of the Magyar community, and plenty of products are having it on the label (as one may see at http://www.szekelytermek.ro), the respective goods being sold even in Bucharest fairs, without any problems.

            Last but not least, if this is an example of Romanian oppression, then I must say I am quite disappointed. Comparing this petty quarrel with what I did experience in Kosovo or Bosnia-Herzegovina, I have to admit that we, Romanians, we are not able to organize properly even in this domain! 🙂

          • “A cég tulajdonosa, Mózes István elmondta, hogy a Fogyasztóvédelem munkatársai többször jártak nála és kifogásolták a termék elnevezését, majd egy alaposabb vizsgálat során sikerült ürügyet találniuk arra, hogy megbüntessék.”

            Translation:

            Istvan Mozes, the owner of the business said that consumer protection staff came on many occasions to his business and complained about his label. They kept coming until they were able to find an excuse to fine him.

            Yes, not quite the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia or Kosovo. If that is where you have to go for comparison, that by itself says it all in regards to “Romanian tolerance”.

            It would be like a high ranking official in Serbia for instance, declaring he is sick of seeing local cars of ethnic Romanians with Romanian stickers, or other Romanian identifying symbols, thus instructing police to follow any such cars they see and find any excuse for fining them. And if anyone complains? Well! No one was fined for a Romanian sign, but rather for running a red light, swerving, not signaling, speeding, taillight is out and so on!

            Would you still consider it to be “no biggy”? Would you accept such excuses?

            Do you realize how ridiculous your arguments?

  8. Florian Radu says:

    Joe,
    I understand you invested a lot in this example of Romanian intolerance, but please, remember, this was in 2015! And it was one case. And it is not relevant anymore, while for sure was not a proof of organized policy of Romanian authorities (which I was hinting to when comparing with how things are in Kosovo…).
    Can we agree that the situation has improved? Or should we engage in a contest of finding examples of bilateral intolerance from the past?
    Because I balance very easy your example from 2015, with an opposite one from last week.
    The Mayor of Covasna city of Sfantu Gheorghe, Antal Arpad, has declared himself unhappy with local Romanians who exposed the Romanian flag (the official flag of the country) during the celebration of the City Days. You were complaining, earlier, that Magyar city flags are not allowed by Romanian authorities. But a Magyar mayor can complain about Romanian citizens using the official flag of Romania, in Romania, during a celebration of the town they live in, too (and pay taxes there)? Also, speaking about the Romanian popular dances presented during the festival, Antal Arpad said that “these were not a plus for Sfantu Gheorghe”… Very smart way to insult others’ traditional culture, what can I say!
    The link from a local news site (in Romanian, sorry): http://mesageruldecovasna.ro/antal-arpad-compromisul-pe-care-l-am-facut-pe-ultima-suta-de-metri-in-legatura-cu-prezenta-folclorului-romanesc-pe-scena-din-piata-sfantu-gheorghe-n-red-nu-a-fost-un-plus-pentru-sfantu-gheorghe/

    You know what I say: tolerance is something which should be measured with the same standard for all. Also, as the Bible says (Mathew 7:5), “first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye”.

    Btw, please note that the original quote from King James Version of the Bible starts with “Thou hypocrite…”, but I decided to leave it aside, not to be accused of insulting you.

    • 1) The case of Korond, where court ruled that Hungarian language translation for “city hall” was not appropriate, even though no Romanian law exists regulating it, and word is commonly used in Hungarian towns, suggests things have not improved. Neither does the treatment of families of kids in relation to closed school I mentioned. There are plenty of other examples as well.

      2) There are similar cases, for instance where s Szekler town put on a traditional food festival and same authorities arrived, accused them of holding an illegal food market and started handing out fines. So the only case argument not valid either.

      3) The mayor Antal Arpad may say some shithead things, but there is a difference between saying some things, and institutions acting in a discriminating fashion, examples of which include the countless fines that were imposed on ethnic Hungarian towns for trying to exercise the same rights as Brasov or other towns or counties.

      Improvement? Based on what I see, yes there was compared with 1990. It lasted until about a decade ago. Now it seems that there is actually a reversal in many cases. And cases I cited most definitely refute your original “most tolerant in region” claim.

      • Florian Radu says:

        Joe,
        if it’s so much of a problem for you, I am ready to amend my initial claim. Therefore, here it is:
        Romanians may not be the least nationalist among the peoples in the region, but for sure Romania is today a more tolerant country than Hungary.
        Happy now?
        🙂

  9. Dez Szatmari says:

    Hey radu I’d like to hear your thoughts about the attacks by the violent Hungarians against the peaceful Romanian villagers in Marosvasarhely back in 1990.
    Propaganda and lies are a Romanian trait…you’re a typical example.

  10. Pingback: The National Catholic Reporter on the Papal visit to Csíksomlyó, Translyvania

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