New Hungarian Constitution Leads The Way

"Klein, aber fein". Hungary in a European map.

I already admired Hungary for many things: their composers like Liszt and Lehar, their inventors like Rubik and of course the well-known, astonishing beauty of their women (though in that respect I think that they cheat, and put something in the water). I even like their probably most famous liquor, called Unicum and very popular in Germany.

Today (thanks once again to Lux Occulta‘s Shane) I have one more reason to admire this little, but in its way great nation: their new Constitution.

I do not know Magyar, but if the linked translation of a draft (which I assume approved with little modification, as a comfortable majority was available) is anything to go by, this is a fine work indeed. So good in fact, that is has already attracted criticism for being (and I quote) overtly Christian, from which we gather that being overtly Christians is, nowadays, supposed to be bad.

Let us see the salient parts:

1) The subtitle of the constitution is ‘O Lord, blessed be the Hungarian nation’. Can’t imagine a better start.

2) There is a preamble, called “National Avowal of Faith”. I couldn’t believe my eyes. This is a modern nation, giving itself a constitution in 2011 and considering the most important trait of the nation… its faith.

3) “We are proud that one thousand years ago our king, Saint Stephen, based the Hungarian State on solid foundations, and made our country a part of Christian Europe”. Proud. Saint Stephen. Christian Europe.

4) “We acknowledge the role Christianity has played in preserving our nation. We respect all our country’s religious traditions”. The Nation is indissolubly linked to Christianity. For the record, Hungary is mixed, but with Catholics the strongest religious group.

5) “We proclaim that the family and the nation provide the fundamental framework for community, in which the pre-eminent values are loyalty, faith and love”. The country itself is based on…. the family. No ethical space for “alternative lifestyles” here.

After some strong tobacco about not recognising the former Communist constitutions, a series of fundamentals follows. I assume that this “fundamentals” will be the key for the interpretation of the text proper.

Feast your eyes with this:

Article K
(1) Hungary shall protect the institution of marriage, understood to be the conjugal union of a
man and a woman based on their independent consent; Hungary shall also protect the
institution of the family, which it recognises as the basis for survival of the nation.
(2) Hungary shall promote the commitment to have and raise children.
(3) The protection of families shall be regulated by a cardinal Act of Parliament.

Family is the basis for the survival of the nation. And “family” is, of course, the proper one. Its protection is given at the highest legislative level.

This is a very strong statement. This is one of the most Christian constitution I have personally ever read or heard of. If I compare with the Italian constitution, I would say that before the revision of the Concordate the Italian constitution was even stronger, but after the revision of the Concordate the Hungarian one is much stronger than the Italian one in its defence of Christian values as the pillar of society. The defence of the family, originally very strong in the Italian constitution, has been partly negated by subsequent judicial activity (or activism, as the case may be).

This constitution is also a slap in the face of Brussels’ bullying of Christian values and a clear message that Europe is, and must remain, Christian.

This new constitution is very good news. I wish the Hungarians all the best.


Posted on April 26, 2011, in Catholicism and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. This is the what the Irish Constitution says regarding the family

    (Article 41, 2 (3) was deleted in 1995 after a controversial referendum [in which over 49% voted for retention] but the rest is there)

  2. Article 41, 3 (2) sorry. The one that states “No law shall be enacted providing for the grant of a dissolution of marriage.”

    • So shane, do you have divorce now in Ireland? Or is only not constituionally protected?

      In Italy, before 1970:
      1) there was no divorce, only legal separation, and
      2) the sacra rota was the only authority for annulment.

      Those were the days….


  3. Mundabor, the ban on divorce was written into the Constitution by de Valera to prevent a future government legislating for it, but the constitution itself is still amendable by a referendum (and only a referendum -hence why we had to vote on the Lisbon Treaty). A referendum was held in 1986 on deleting the ban but it was heavily rejected by voters. After voters passed it in 1995 (very narrowly – 50.3%) the government legislated for divorce. The rules are still tight: eg you have to be seperated from the partner for five years to apply for a divorce. I think Britain’s very liberal legislation is fairly exceptional in Europe.

    • ah,
      in Italy in my time was seven years without the consent of the other spouse (consent that a Catholic was bound NOT to give lest he/she be excluded from communion) and five with the consent. The rules have been successively relaxed.


  4. Regarding the Hungarian constitution, it is almost too good to be true. I imagine Brussels will never let it survive.

    Regarding divorce law, does Italy now have unilateral, no-fault divorce?

    • NSS,

      AFAIK in Italy you still don’t “file” for divorce as it is not your right to have one; you “ask” for divorce and a judge must decide that it is better for society for you to live divorced than for the marriage to go on.

      But yes, the so-called “addebito” (that is: the apportionment of the fault on one of the two spouses) does not exist anymore.


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