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  • Hungary and the Holy See of Rome (Sources and Perspectives): Studies in Honor of Cardinal Erdő Edited by Péter Tusor
  • Péter Beke
Hungary and the Holy See of Rome (Sources and Perspectives): Studies in Honor of Cardinal Erdő. Edited by Péter Tusor. [Collectanea Vaticana Hungariae Series I, Classis I, Vol. 8.] (Budapest: Gondolat Publishing. 2012. Pp. viii, 466. Paperback. ISBN 978-9-633-08063-4.)

Church history research nowadays does not examine only the past of religion or the clergy; it also connects strongly with the history of politics, diplomacy, economy, culture, and lifestyle. Church history research in Rome about Hungary started in the second half of the nineteenth century and continues today with many remarkable results, such as those that appear in this collection of sixteen studies.

In the “Medieval” section of the book, Tamás Fedeles used the quitantiae of the Apostolic Camera to gain information about the appointments to ecclesiastical offices in Hungary. According to the author, future research should concentrate on exploring and publishing all the Hungary-related material of the Apostolic [End Page 579] Camera. Kornél Szovák chose to present a fascinating personality of the humanist culture: Martin of Ilkus, astronomer to Pope Paul II and physician to King Matthias I of Hungary. The author examines Martin’s political and ecclesiastical career from a brand-new perspective. Gábor Nemes examined the situation of Croatia and Dalmatia by using the breves of Pope Clement VII. The pope—as the study points out—did not only support the resistance against the Turks financially but also sent a large amount of grain and war material. Help was also spiritual—the pope granted indulgence to the Frangepans and their soldiers.

In the “Early Modern Age” section, István Fazekas analyzes the papal confirmation of Hungarian episcopal appointments in 1554 on the basis of documents from the archives of Vienna. In this case, the new bishops (and an archbishop) were ordered to spend the annates on the fortification of the Hungarian border fortresses. Antal Molnár writes about Hungarian relations with the Republic of Ragusa, especially through the Catholic missions promoted by Ragusan merchants in the Balkans. These missionaries had to cope with both the spread of Islam and the Protestant preachers. Tamás Kruppa examines and publishes the apology of Demeter Náprági, bishop of Transylvania from 1601. The source found in the Vatican Secret Archives was an answer to the several accusations against the bishop by the Transylvanian orders. The apology discloses that Náprági supported Zsigmond Báthori and intended to destroy the Protestant denominations. In the archives of the Magalottis Péter Tusor found interesting letters from 1626–27 between Cardinal Péter Pázmány, archbishop of Esztergom, and Cardinal Melchior Klesl, bishop of Vienna. His thorough study of these documents proves that not only the Vatican Archives but also the Italian archives can be useful for revealing the many-sided relationship of Hungary and the Holy See. Tamás Tóth discusses the Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum. The Collegium Germanicum was founded in 1552 with the purpose of educating future German clergy, followed by the establishment of a Collegium Hungaricum in 1573. In 1580 Pope Gregory XIII united the two institutions.

In the “Modern Age” section, Balázs Karlinszky presents two important research projects conducted in Rome by priest-historians of the Diocese of Veszprém. The first in the 1910s was splendidly successful, but the other in the 1980s had only modest results. Máté Gárdonyi deals with the heritage of Bishop Vilmos Csiszárik that reveals important diplomatic issues between Hungary and the Holy See at the beginning of the twentieth century. Krisztina Tóth and Tusor emphasize the importance of the recent opening of the Vatican Archives; the appendix of their study contains sources about the church policy of the successor states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Balázs Csíky outlines how Jusztinián Serédi became the archbishop of Esztergom in 1927. His study makes clear that Serédi was not the favorite candidate of the Hungarian government. In a separate piece Krisztina Tóth reveals the background...


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