“The denial of our Christian roots and the irrecognition of Christian values would be a severe mistake” Minister of Justice László Trócsányi emphasized in his lecture delivered during the memorial day of Saint Thomas of Canterbury in Esztergom on 5th January.

The minister said that the new Fundamental Law of Hungary had done what the signatories to the Founding Treaties of the EU were afraid or unwilling to do, it had codified the role of Christianity. The Law has a well-balanced approach, it separates state and church on the one hand while regulating their cooperation in performing certain public services on the other.

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“One should not make the mistake of looking for European identity in a kind of idealised past. It should rather be sought in the future. The question should be raised whether there will be a Christian Europe and a Christian Hungary rather than whether there had been one," he said.

The memorial event was marked with an ecumenical service at the hillside chapel that bears Saint Thomas’ name.

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Ties between the archiepiscopal seats of Esztergom and Canterbury go back to the 12th century, when Thomas Becket and Lukács Bánfi, Archbishop of Esztergom, formed friendship during their studies in Paris. Some of the saint’s relics were salvaged in 1538 and they were kept in Esztergom after King Henry VIII ordered their destruction. After more than four centuries, Cardinal László Lékai donated some of them to the Archiepiscopacy of Canterbury.