Bishop Zoltán Balog gave a warm embrace to a Romanian senator demonstrating against Hungarians in Gyulafehérvár. The pastoral president of the Synod of the Reformed Church of Hungary set an example of Christian charity at the unveiling ceremony of the statue of Transylvanian Gábor Bethlen. Read below for more information about the event.
Reformatus.hu reports, that on Saturday morning, Hungarian Reformed Christians were preparing to unveil the Bethlen statue in the former capital of Transylvania when a man dressed in traditional Romanian attire appeared among them, clutching a framed picture. The crowd paid little attention to the man.
During the gathering, Katalin Novák, Gabriel Pleșa, Mayor of Gyulafehérvár, Béla Kató, Reformed Bishop of Transylvania and the leaders of the Hungarian Reformed Church all made an appearance. After the unveiling of the statue of Gábor Bethlen, there was a minor incident. A man tried to get closer to the monument. Călin Gheorghe Maties, a social democrat senator, then placed a picture of Avram Iancu in front of the statue. This was highly controversial.
Under Iancu’s leadership, thousands of Hungarians suffered in Transylvania at the time of the Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence.
Maszol.ro gives further details – “The event was interrupted by an unpleasant incident: despite tight security measures, a man approached the special guests. He tried to hand over a portrait of Iancu, loudly demanding that a statue of the Romanian leader be built. During the embarrassing performance, the special services did not intervene. Finally, Zoltán Balog stepped up and addressed him, and persuaded the outraged patriot to calm down and leave.”
Zoltán Balog offered the man a conciliatory right hand and was seen hugging and kissing the completely confused politician. The bishops then marched to the nearby stage, where the Hungarian Reformed Unity Day service began. Zoltán Balog also spoke about Christian love in his sermon.
Here is what Balog said following the ceremony.
“If we cannot cross borders and embrace others, as Jesus Christ embraced everyone, we can not survive. Only love can overcome hatred.
The man who presented himself to me as a nationalist did indeed place the image that was important to him at the foot of the statue of Bethlen. We appreciate the fact that Gyulafehérvár has a Romanian mayor who allowed us to erect a statue of Gábor Bethlen in one of the most prominent places in the city, next to the former palace.”
Source: reformatus.hu, maszol.ro