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The New Man  and L'Osservatore

· The newspaper of the Holy See to be published in Hungarian ·

On December 1st the Hungarian weekly Ú j Ember will begin publishing a four page insert comprised of articles from L'Osservatore Romano . The insert will be published every two weeks. “We are a small editorial staff,” Balázs Rátkai, editor-in-chief of the weely, explained. “However, our intention is to probe and to make our readers think. The collaboration with the Vatican daily is of historic importance for the life of the weekly and of the entire local Church; it not only brings the Universal Church and the Pope closer to us; it will also enrich readers, and through them all of Hungarian society, with new thoughts, opinions and answers”.

Ú j Ember, ” its editor continued, “takes its name from the Letter to the Ephesians: “Put on the new man” (4:24). For many generations this name has been synonymous with the survival, strength and battle of the Catholic Church in our country. The periodical was born amid the ruin of Budapest at the end of the Second World War, and published its first edition on 9 August 1945. Its editorial office was blessed by Cardinal József Mindszenty. After several initial years of relative peace, it suffered an onslaught of attacks under the Communist regime: articles censored, journalists defamed, internal espionage and messages implicitly communicated between the lines. Its life, like that of the entire Catholic Church in Hungary at the time, continued on for decades behind closed doors.

Many journalists, even if they were not able openly to manifest their dissent, succeeded nonetheless in spreading the news of the Church. “Following the revolution in 1956,” continued Rátkai, “the weekly was suppressed, and the editorial staff was silenced for six months. Once the regime fell, the world opened to the editorial staff and to its readers, the circulation of news was then free and the editorial staff was able to receive great strength from the visits of Pope John Paul II in 1991 and 1996. Over the last 20 years, the weekly has always sought - first in eight, then in ten, and finally in sixteen pages - to communicate in a clear and authentic way and to speak out insistently on behalf of family values, the defence of human life and the battle against poverty”.

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