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Bishop Antal Majnek Honored for his Work for Hungarians in Ukraine

Dániel Deme 2023.03.13.
Csongor Csáky, President of the Rákóczi Association (L), and Árpád Martényi, President of the János Esterházy Memorial Committee (C) present the Esterházy Prize to Antal Majnek, retired Roman Catholic Bishop of Munkác (R)

During his life János Esterházy represented the survival of the Hungarian nation and the idea that every nation has the right to exist, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén said at an award ceremony bearing the name of a Hungarian politician from Slovakia on Sunday in Parliament.

Photo: Hungary Today

He said that Count János Esterházy (1901-1957) was able to represent both the Slovak and Hungarian, Central European and Hungarian community, and that everyone has a duty to preserve their own nation and to promote its values. He was the symbol and proof that Christianity and being Hungarian are not opposing realities, but mutually reinforcing.

Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén, Photo: MTI/Bruzák Noémi

Semjén added that

everyone has a primary duty towards his or her own family, but in a broader sense, everyone has a duty to care for the destiny of his or her own nation.

Every nation is a reflection of God, a wealth of values unique to that nation, and it is the fundamental mission of every nation to preserve, develop and promote its own values, he said. If any nation were to disappear from history, universal humanity would be poorer, Zsolt Semjén said.
At the ceremony, the Rákóczi Association awarded the Esterházy Prize to Antal Majnek, retired Roman Catholic Bishop of Ukraine’s Mukachevo (Munkács), in recognition of his service to the Hungarians of Transcarpathia and all people living in Transcarpathia. In his presentation, Provincial Superior Piusz Berhidai stressed that has served those entrusted to him in a truly Catholic way. As a brother among brothers, always keeping in mind the example of the martyrs and taking up the cross.

Bishop Antal Majnek. Photo: Hungary Today

In 1989 Antal Majnek was one of the three missionary fathers sent to serve in Transcarpathia. A Franciscan community was established in Nagyszőlős, and he was appointed titular bishop in 1995. Many initiatives are linked to his name, such as the strengthening of local parishes, the founding of new ones, the establishment of kindergartens, charitable and rehabilitation centers, the publication of a diocesan newspaper.

(L-R) Árpád Martényi, State Secretary Árpád János Potápi, Chairman of the Committee for National Policy, Antal Majnek, retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Cardinal Péter Erdő, Zsolt Semjén, Deputy Prime Minister, and Csongor Csáky, President of the Rákóczi Association. Photo: MTI/Noémi Bruzák

János Árpád Potápi, Minister of State for National Policy of the Prime Minister’s Office, praised the award winner, saying that he had served 26 years of his 34 years of service in Transcarpathia as a bishop with humility and loyalty. Even as a retired bishop, he took on the pastoral care of five parishes, participated in charitable and social assistance, and distributed donations to the needy. During his three decades of service, he accomplished a great deal of work for many people, playing an invaluable role in the rebuilding of the Hungarian-speaking Roman Catholic Church in Transcarpathia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the organization of the Roman Catholic diocese of Mukachevo, the renewal of churches, the founding of the St. Stephen’s Lyceum in Mukachevo and the establishment of kindergartens in the Upper Tisza region.

Remembering the Martyrdom of János Esterházy
Remembering the Martyrdom of János Esterházy

The legacy of the war-time Hungarian politician from Slovakia lives on to inspire those fighting for minority rights.Continue reading

Featured Photo: MTI/Noémi Buzák

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