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Priests and Pastors Won’t Be Prioritized in Vaccination Campaign Despite Suggestion

Hungary Today 2021.04.06.

Following an open letter of the representatives of three major Christian denominations, the government refuses to prioritize priests and other clergy in the vaccination campaign.

According to the head of the Hungarian Evangelical Church, Bishop Tamás Fabiny, similar to other professions exposed to the coronavirus, pastors also deserve priority as they too risk their lives visiting sick people or presiding over funerals. Earlier, Cardinal Péter Erdő had suggested that priests’ situations are similar to that of teachers (who finally, after months of lobbying have been prioritized in the campaign), in the sense that they also come into contact with a lot of people.

Therefore, the three major Christian denominations (speaking for all the other ones), asked Interior Minister Sándor Pintér to also prioritize pastors in the campaign.

In response to ATV’s question, the Ministry of Human Capacities made it clear however, that pastors’ prioritization was not on the agenda, claiming that vaccinations are going according to age groups.

Meanwhile, Easter saw different ways of coping with the situation in Christian churches,  even though they had been exempt from the lockdown measures (the strictest ones in effect since the outbreak). While both the Reformed and Evangelical Church suspended in-person services, in the Catholic Church it was (and still is) up to the diocese to decide. While the Archdiocese of Esztergom–Budapest took the same path as the protestant churches did, at some other places, churches were often full during the Easter services.

Church Leaders Highlight 'God's Love in Trouble'
Church Leaders Highlight 'God's Love in Trouble'

God “faithfully loves man, especially in troubled times,” Cardinal Péter Erdő, the head of the Hungarian Catholic Church, told MTI on Saturday, celebrating Easter. The cardinal said Jesus “thanked his Father while preparing for torture and death” at the Last Supper. “It is important that we are able to express our gratitude to God who […]Continue reading

In the featured photo illustration: Cardinal Péter Erdő. Photo by Attila Kovács/MTI