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The fact

Nowadays, the Moldovian Hungarians are living on the territory of Moldova in about 120 large villages and several smaller ones, a few of them are living together with the local orthodox people.

 Although, on the territory of Moldova the majority of the Roman catholics are considered Hungarians, in the last years we take into consideration those that are somehow separated from the church, but whose origin are Hungarian and according to this, Roman catholics, but there might be other religions but with Hungarian origin and they might change their religion because they felt offended regarding to their origin.

 To mention some datas in Moldova now they are living about 260,000people with Hungarian origin from these 60 or 100 thousands can speak Hungarian according to the census. Seeing these statistics, the fate of the Hungarians here are thought provoking.

 As I mentioned above, out of these they might be about 10, 000 people of Hungarian origin in Moldova belonging to different religions, even sects. There can be found muslims , too. There are also about 150, 000 catholics, with Hungarian origin, but which are considered Romanians by those living in Transylvania.

 In the last 25 years almost 100, 000 Roman catholic Csangos migrated from Moldova in some Western European countries, mainly in Latin ones, or to Hungary. They became Italian, Spanish or other citizens, and they were not considered Csangos from Moldova anymore at the census.

 Tha Hungarians in Moldova don`t have independent institutional infrastructure, this ethnic groups can be found inside the Romanian infrastructure in this region.


 The civil sphere

  In the last 15 or 20 years a lot of Moldovian Csango organizations came into being we can talk about a working sphere, whose work are complex but the aim is to save the culture and native tongue. Out of helping those in need, there is no other infrastructure only the Hungarian lessons outside and inside the school and a few cultural programmes. Although these organizations have their own infrastructures, there is no coordinated activity in this field. There are civil organizations outside the Csango region, those Csangos who emigrated, or other persons, scientists interested in our culture.

 Tha Roman catholic church is not in such relationship with these organizations to help saving the Csango Hungarian culture and language. The church chose another way and in 1860 they didn`t allow to use the Hungarian language from some reason, saying that the Moldovian catholics were Romanians.

 We need to be very attentive to these facts, what bring the Moldovian Hungarians in these situations and what we experience nowadays.

 There is need to talk about the Roman catholic activities in Modova because they influence the Moldovian Hungarians language and culture, too because the Hungarians here consider themselves catholics instead of mentioning the nationality.

 We must be very attentive to find out what we need , what is not functioning in the matter of education, that would help the Moldovian Csango Hungarians` society to develop culturally and economically, that gives force to a society. Also the mass media could form a protective umbrella in a society. There is not only a civil, but also a political society, too.

 If we consider all the above mentioned, the main important thing will remain, that is the love, that the humanity profess inside the Christianity. One who loves his family, can love his nation and can live together in love with the humanity.


 Historical overview

The Moldovian Hungarians were strongly linked to the Roman catholic church in the past 800 or 850 years, and were attached to the local episcopy. There are as I mentioned other religions, but the majority are catholics.

 In the history of the Moldovian catholic episcopy  the Hungarians had the main role, because the Hungarians could be mentioned together with this religion, but centuries before the Saxons here were also catholics on the former Kun Country`s territory.

 In this infrastructure the catholic church didn`t want to know about the Moldovian Hungarians` language traditions and they first taught Latin and then Romanian ignoring the Hungarians in this region. In the last centuries there were some Csango priests who listened to  the Csangos` demands, recognized the value of their culture and tried to save them, too, but their sacrifice and hard work didn`t have a massive impact on the church.

 Although some percents were Saxons and Swabish and a few Romanian families were among the Moldovian catholics, the old populations from Moldova didn`t seem to have the aim of making the Hungarians to disappear, the catholic priests` writings to the Vatican and from the historical works we knew that in the Middle Age in Modova there were Hungarians, Romanians, and other nations, living in peace, and none of them wanted to destroy the others` language or religion. This was due to a failure, as the history proved, the Roman catholic church`s expansion on the East had its aim to found Romanian speaking Roman catholics. Later on, in the orthodox sea, in an orthodox country the survival could be only by the forming of Romanian catholics, and because the Romanians didn`t want to become catholics, they tried to make from the Hungarian speaking catholics Romanian speaking ones, sacrificing in this way the Hungarians in Moldova, and in the last years the Hungarians in Transylvania, too.

 Though, the Hungarians and the Hungarian churches were existed earlier than the Moldovian Principality each history had its separate role.

 The first documents, when from Hungary and Transylvania some Domonican priests arrived, the christianism started to spread among the Kuns and in 1222 1227 they  organized on the Moldovian territory the episcopy from Milko. George Pope the 9th writing a letter to Béla the 4th , Endre the 2nd Hungarian kig`s son, thanked the support given, which showed that the Hungarian king made a huge step for the Hungarians, but the pope had other calculations, he wanted to spread the Roman Catholicism. But the history didn`t bring any good, as it started, because of the Mongol conquest, the episcopy ceased to function.

 The episcopy from Szeret: in Szeret to the demand of Laczko the Moldovian prince, Orban the 5th in 1371 founded an episcopy. The prince`s main aim was to consolidate his good willing towards the catholics. The mother of Nagy Lajos king, Erzsébet`s priest, Jastrebiec András, who was born in Krakow, was made bishop.

 Losonczy Margit, Petru Musat`s mother called Domonican priests to Szeret, built a monastery for them which in 1391 became a place for pilgrimage. Petru Musat prince gave a lot of money for building several monasteries as well as catholics as orthodox, too.

 In 1413 the Polish king and queen asked from Rome that Moldvabánya should be the centre for the bishop, and in 1423 John pope the 13th put here a bishop named Ryza János, who was a Dominican priest.

 The episcopy from Szeretvásár and Moldvabánya, in the 15th century mentioned a huge population  of catholics, Hungarian and Saxons in the Eastern Moldova. These bishops and priests were not Hungarians, so they didn`t consider their task the use and protection of the Hungarian language. We must know, of course, that the catholic services` language was Latin till the middle of the 20th century.

 The episcopies in Moldova didn`t have a political support or background, so at the end of the 15th century Moldvabánya lost his dominant role in the catholic religious life.

 At the beginning of the 16th century, it is not mentioned anymore.

 Parallel to these, instead of Moldovabánya, other South Moldovian cities like Bákó and Tatros gained more role. In 1518 for a short time, Tatros became the centre of the Catholicism in Moldova. This period was, when the prostestant ideas spread in the region, and lots of protestants took refuge in Moldova. The appearance of Husits had a good impact on the Hungarian language they even founded the city of Husz, and in Tatros they even printed out the Bible in Hungarian. But these protestants were put to become catholics making the local catholics more powerful in this region, and soon Bákó became the Episcopal centre.

 In Transylvania, the protestanism spread out, they could not send catholic priests to Moldova, so starting from the 17th century, some missionaries came from different countries, belonging to different nations. They were Italians, Polish, Greeks, Bulgarians, Bosnians, Armenians and only a few Hungarians, and all these priests excluding the Hungarians, could not speak the Hungarian language. The Moldovian Jesuits mission started before the Kongregation came into being, at the end of the 16th century. In 1586, the leader of the Jesuit Mission , Giulio Mancinelli arrived in Moldova who also founded the Jesuit Mission in Konstantinople. In 1588 Stanislaus Varcevicius, Justus Rabb and Johann Konig Schonovianus Polish Jesuits were turning back to the Catholicism the people of Jászváros.

 In the 17th century Moldovian missionair, Beke Pál  in 1644 went to Moldova and together with Marcus Bandinus Bosnian bishop arrived to Csöbörcsök, too.

 In Jászváros, the Moldovian prince supported the building of some Jesuits schools, but he ignored, that the people were Hungarians. A lot of complaint letters were written to the Pope in this matter. Marco Bandini was not welcomed by the Moldovian prince, because he was protecting the Hungarians in the region.

 Marco Bandini the bishop, died in Bako  in 1650 and the catholic priests flee from Moldova back to Transylvania. Bandini`s writings showed that the Hungarian culture in Moldova was ignored and even oppressed. He wrote letters to the Pope, that in Moldova they need Hungarian speaking priests, because the language is Hungarian in the region.

 Girolamo Arsengo was the next bishop in Arges Bako region, he was a Roman catholic with Greek nationality. Pietro Diodato Bulgarian Franciscan priest had a great impact on the Moldovian Hungarian catholics. Diodato, had the mission in 1642 to visit Transylvania but he could not fulfill this task. But when he was visiting Moldova, he made a detailed report about the Hungarians in Moldova, the life of the Csango people, and their religion. During this time, the villagers asked desperately for sending Hungarian speaking priests, but nobody was listening them. Very few were those who could speak Hungarian.

 Later, in the 19th century, a great impact had Petrás Incze János, who wrote a letter to Döbrentei Gábor, drowing his attention on the situation of the Hungarians in Moldova. But those from the Mother Country, Hungary didn`t want to get involved  in the matter of the Moldovian Hungarians, because after Mátyás king`s death, he lost his authority upon Moldova. In the middle of the 20th century, the Hungarian Popular Union from Romania, founded in Moldova in more than 100 villages, Hungarian schools, but in this matter the church had no role. More than that, the church punished those priests who were protecting the Hungarians, like Georgina priest.

 Considering the church in this region, the bilingual service from Labnik 2009 was a big event in this region, we need such things in other villages, too, not only at some occasions when there is a conference. It was good, but such occasion was like the „ Halati Service” . If there will be no bilingual services, Hungarian Romanian ones in the Csango Hungarian villages and for those in Transylvania, they will separate the people, and the Hungarian language will disappear.

 That is why we need a serious programme, which is not existing, yet. Although they made some promises.

Duma  András

(translator: Méhes Ágnes)