Former minister Balog takes up post as Reformed bishop
Photo: László Sebestyén/reformatus.hu

Zoltán Balog, the former human resources minister, was inaugurated as the Reformed Bishop of Dunamellék on Monday.

Speaking to MTI after his inauguration ceremony, which was held behind closed doors because of the pandemic, Balog said he will begin paying visits to the diocese’s congregations as early as this week. The former minister vowed to visit all of the more than 300 congregations belonging to the Reformed Diocese of Dunamellék within the next 1.5-2 years.

Balog said his consecration ceremony will be held on Easter Monday to enable a larger gathering of the congregation.

The new bishop said his most pressing task would be to strengthen church communities. He said

Hungary and the world as a whole lacked the strong communities that people could call home.

Church communities can give people the strength and support they require in times of crisis, Balog added.

He also underlined the importance of the role of the church in public service, citing as an example the service of Reformed priests at hospitals.

“I want us to be able to convey a comforting message with which we can give strength to as many people as possible,” Balog said.

He also said that the church considered it important to reach young people. He highlighted religious and ethics studies as a way of reaching out to the younger generations, but also emphasised the need to reform education and strengthen the status of religion teachers.

The Reformed Diocese of Dunamellék elected Balog as its bishop on Nov. 5 last year.

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