Konstantin Szabó

Greek Catholic Priest, Former Prefect of the Seminary of Uzhhorod, Chaplan of Sislóc
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Konstantin Szabó completed his studies at the seminary in secret, and that is how he was ordained too. In 1945, pursuant to Stalin’s decree, Greek Catholic priests were forced to join the Orthodox Church. Many, however, resisted the decree – these priests were either executed or sent to the gulags. Konstantin Szabó was born into a dynasty of priests. After he decided to follow the family tradition, he needed to act with the greatest possible caution, while attending the theological course of Elemér Ortutay. This is how he remembers those times: “I took private classes from him in secret, but I didn’t know how many students he actually had, or who they were. When harassments became more and more frequent, instead of my notes, I used to go over with some chocolate or flowers in hand, as if I were simply visiting; I came up with all sorts of detours to avoid the undercover agent who was watching us. The entire family was running a huge risk. During the decades of dictatorship, the families of priests were kept under close surveillance by the state security service. “There was a moment, a breaking point, when I said I could not carry on any longer, and that I would stop. At that point uncle Elemér sent me a note: »Kiddo - this was my codename -, be careful and don’t shut this door, because sometimes it is really hard to open«. This thought of his stayed with me forever” – Konstantin Szabó recalled, as he told us about the hardships of his four years of studying. He had to wait until 1989 for his first liturgy.

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