In response to Hungary’s recent law against pedophile offenders and which also bans the “promotion of homosexuality,” and according to its critics conflates pedophilia with LGBTQI issues, several opposition parties are making alternative proposals.
Following the adoption of Hungary’s controversial anti-pedophilia law, in which also the “promotion of homosexuality,” or even the “appearance of homosexuality in media accessible to children” are included and banned, the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) announced that they would draft a “real anti-pedophilia” draft which would also focus on pedophilia crimes within church organizations, the party announced on Wednesday.
DK deputy group leader, Ágnes Vadai, said at a press conference that several sexual crimes against children committed by members of the clergy had come to light in recent years, but the cases “never came before a court” while perpetrators had “stayed within the clergy.”
According to the party’s draft, child molesters should be banned from working with minors for life, and “clerics must not be an exception.”
Anyone who becomes aware of a sexual offense against a child and fails to report it to the authorities is liable to a penalty of three years’ imprisonment. Without any exceptions to members of the clergy.
Under the DK draft, the Hungarian Catholic Church could be obliged to conduct a thorough investigation into cases of sexual abuse of children and make the results of the investigation public.
Shortly after DK’s press conference, opposition Párbeszéd Party announced they will submit a proposal, mainly aimed at “breaking” the seal of confession.
Although today this is not without limits, it is better to further narrow it down so it does not include sharing information about sexual crimes committed against children, the party said.
Párbeszéd deemed the changes important because “the internal rules of the churches themselves are not always in line with secular law; for example, the Catholic Church’s position is that the seal of confession for priests extends to confessions of sexual abuse in the confessional.”
Instead of a draft bill, Momentum decided to file a complaint with Hungary’s media regulator (NMHH) about governing Fidesz’s recently-launched political ad campaign on YouTube, which the opposition party believes could be harmful to minors.
“In the past few days, several parents and grandparents have expressed their concern to me after repeatedly encountering paid political smear ads by Fidesz during videos for children on Youtube,” revealed Momentum MP candidate Anett Csordás.
According to the politician, this advertising practice is unfair and unethical, as “children are not aware of what this content is about until a certain age, neither are they in a position to make political decisions,” Csordás said, adding that Fidesz could easily change a few options with a press of a button to prevent their ads from appearing during children’s videos.
In the featured photo: DK deputy group leader Ágnes Vadai. Photo by Tamás Kovács/MTI