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 The Life and Work of Ottokár Prohászka (1858–1927) (review) 
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Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:11 pm
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New post The Life and Work of Ottokár Prohászka (1858–1927) (review)
I have a book of mediations from Bishop Ottokár Prohászka who was a Hungarian Catholic bishop consecrated by St. Pius X. I read an article online that some of his later works were put on the Index. Has anyone heard of him?

The Life and Work of Ottokár Prohászka (1858–1927) (review)
James P. Niessen S.O.

From: The Catholic Historical Review
Volume 97, Number 1, January 2011
pp. 163-164 | 10.1353/cat.2010.0160
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:
Bishop Ottokár Prohászka was a towering figure in the history of Hungarian Catholicism, known (rather than Venerable Cardinal József Mindszenty) as its most profound leader since Cardinal Peter Pázmány, the leader of the Catholic Reformation. His funeral in Budapest was the largest the city ever experienced, and on his grave in the western town of Székesfehérvár, where he served as bishop since 1905, are inscribed the words Apostolus et praeceptor Hungariae (apostle and teacher of Hungary). He achieved his reputation through inspiring oratory, retreats, advocacy of Christian democracy and the social gospel (he was the first Hungarian translator of Rerum novarum and helped organize three communities and one political party), and prolific writing: his collected works (1928-9) run to twenty-five volumes.

To Budapest theologian Ferenc Szabó, S.J., we owe the first substantial biography in English, translated from the Hungarian edition. The Jesuit school in Kalocsa provided the foundation for Prohászka's vocation; then he studied at the Collegium Germanicum et Hungaricum in Rome beginning in 1875. Returning to the seat of the Hungarian primates in Esztergom after his ordination in 1881, he rose to spiritual director of the national seminary and mentor of a generation of clergy beginning in 1890. It was during these years that Prohászka entered the public arena as a writer and public speaker. His appointment to the University of Budapest in 1903 brought him to the center of national life, and he moved to his episcopal see two years later.

One of Szabó's seminal achievements is to complement Prohászka's well-known public record with the examination of his inner life as documented by his diaries (which have been supplemented recently), huge correspondence, and the diaries of contemporaries. These sources leave no doubt that his asceticism and mysticism helped determine his critical view of Hungarian social structure, which was not shared by other members of the Hungarian hierarchy. The author carefully addresses the difficult problem of antisemitism in the bishop's political writings. His condemnation of Jewish influence in society, he argues, must be understood in terms of his overriding concern about secularization and the strong position of Jews in law, journalism, and the socialist movement. Prohászka emphasized in the course of a public debate that his daily celebration of the Eucharist precluded hatred of the Jews as persons.

The Holy See placed three of Prohászka's smaller works on the Index of Prohibited Books in 1911. The author argues that the bishop was modern (presaging the Second Vatican Council and Pope John Paul II in his view of the laity and labor) but not a modernist. He examines in detail The Excesses of Intellectualism, Prohászka's inaugural address to the Hungarian Academy in 1911, along with diary entries that give an ampler view of its theology than the published text. This work focused the ire of his opponents, but was evidently just a pretext for their more political concerns. In this year of the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, it is remarkable to read Prohászka's words recorded by one of his confidantes: "I have a high regard for Newman … one of his great graces was that he lived at a good time…" (p. 273).

Justice cannot be done here to the richness of this biography and the wealth of primary sources it deploys, including two Latin translations of Prohászka's works, printed in the appendices, which the author procured from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 2001. It provides not only a fine introduction to the subject for readers of English but also an important advance over previous contributions to the Prohászka literature in Hungary.

Copyright © 2011 The Catholic University of America Press

Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:43 pm
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Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:11 pm
Posts: 28
New post Re: The Life and Work of Ottokár Prohászka (1858–1927) (revi
Sorry for the double post.

Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:56 pm
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