"WE CHANGED OUR CLOTHES, BUT WE DID NOT CHANGE INSIDE…"1 Hungarian nuns and sisters before and after 1950

Zsuszanna Bögre


The communist regime dissolved all monastic orders in 1950, affecting approximately 3000 ‘men religious’ and9000 ‘women religious’ from 23 male and 40 female orders. This dissolution of monastic orders was preceded bythe secularization of church institutions in 1948, when ‘men and women religious’ lost "only" their secular jobsin schools, nurseries, hospitals, and orphanages. The further step taken in 1950 also deprived them of theopportunity to live in accordance with their vocation. 3000 ‘men and women religious’ were interned in thesummer of 1950 as a first step, and all ‘men and women religious’ were expelled from monasteries and conventsin autumn of the same year. (There were only four orders who could legally continue their activities undercommunism.) It was not until 40 years later, when only about 950 ‘men religious’ and 2500 ‘women religious’lived in Hungary, that they could openly take up their duties once again.

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