Catholic priest suspended for asking “Who is Árpád Habony?”

July 17, 2016


A popular Hungarian Roman Catholic priest, known for his YouTube video blog, has been suspended by the Diocese of Pécs, writes Hungarian news website

Father Péter Mihály Cseh is a priest in Szekszárd whose blog is followed by thousands. Although it is usually about sermons and matters of faith, he does not shy away from politics. Last Thursday he sent an open letter to the bishop of Pécs, asking how he should vote in the migrant settlement quota referendum to be held in October.

Who is Árpád Habony?

In his latest video, Father Péter went even further, addressing Prime Minister Viktor Orbán himself.

He explains that he regularly performs a service entitled “Who is Jesus?” on Thursday evenings.  To illustrate how getting to know somebody works, Father Péter uses the example of tennis player Pete Sampras. He says that if someone wants to get an idea about what kind of guy Sampras is, they should look at official documents pertaining to Sampras, consult with Sampras’ friends, and talk to others about how they see Sampras.

“If you want to get a good idea about who someone is, you should look at official documents, get to know that person’s friends, or assess what that person’s reputation is like in the public’s opinion.”

The priest then proceeds to ask Orbán, “Who is Árpád Habony?” (Habony is an unofficial advisor to the prime minister.-ed)

Preliminary inquiry

It seems the Catholic diocese of Pécs was not entirely happy about Father Péter’s questions. In a statement published on their homepage, the diocese announced it had started a preliminary inquiry into the priest and that he would be suspended until further notice.

Bishop György Udvardy argued the priest was too active on social media and that only by suspending Cseh could the diocese prevent scandals. The statement added that they had warned Father Péter many times, and had given him guidance as to how and where he could continue his internet activity. This “guidance”, said the diocese, had not been followed by the priest.