The European Court of Human Rights continues undermining its own prestige and authority – this time with a controversial judgment condemning Hungary for having illegally “detained” two asylum seekers from Bangladesh in the transit zone next to the country’s border to neighbouring Serbia. The judgement is not yet final, as Hungary can still ask for the referral of the case to a Grand Chamber. The Hungarian government, which has criticised the Decision in sharp words, is expected to ask for such referral, but very possibly will not comply with the Decision anyway, even if it should be confirmed. Continue reading
The bid to defer the appointment of a “Special Rapporteur” on “LGBT Rights” has failed narrowly by 77 to 84 votes (with 16 abstentions) in the UN General Assembly. The appointee, Prof. Vitit Muntarbhorn, whose ideological bias and poor academic standards are amply evidenced through the fact that he is the co-author of a pretentious scam called “The Yogyakarta Principles”, has already begun his task, meeting up with the radical Homo-Lobby ILGA to receive and discuss their shopping list of new “rights”. Continue reading
One may indeed ask the question whether it was wise for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to call a referendum on the EU-imposed refugee quuotas, given (a) the foreseeable difficulty in getting more than 50% of the electorate to the polls, (b) his intention to reject the EU’s quota idea in any case, and (c) the practical impossibility for the Commission and for Member States, including those agreeing with the idea, to put the quota into practice. The voter turnout has been just 40% instead of 50%, the referendum is “invalid” from a legal point of view, and all the international mass media are writing about “Orbán’s defeat”. Continue reading
Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn has called for the expusion of Hungary from the EU “either on a temporary basis or for ever”, because of the Hungarian Government’s harsh policies to restrict the influx of illegal migrants. Continue reading
The militantly anti-religious “European Humanist Federation” has silently withdrawn its European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) called “Wake up Europe – Act for Democracy”. The ambition of that initiative had been to overturn the democratically elected government of an EU Member State, namely the government of Hungary led by the social-conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. As the EHF claim, this was not due to lack of support, but rather to the insight that the ECI “was not the appropriate way to address this sensitive and complex issue”.
In the meantime, Viktor Orbán continues on his successful reform path. One of his latest achievements is to have set up a new department to assist persecuted Christians in the Middle East with an initial budget of $3.35 million.
Following its decision to block two draft Council Conclusions prepared by the Dutch Presidency, the Hungarian Government has released an official statement in which it clarifies and confirms its position. According to this statement, Hungary is committed to fighting against real instances of discrimination, including discrimination of people with sexual orientation problems, but it is not prepared to accept that the definition of marriage exclusively as a union between a man and a woman, or the preferential treatment of marriage, be deemed “discriminatory”.
Pope Francis’ policy of aligning the Catholic Church with the secular “zeitgeist” appears to have enthusiastic followers at COMECE, the Brussels-based lobby bureau of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences in the EU. Since the new pontiff came into office in 2013, the focus of COMECE’s activities has shifted from themes such as bioethics, the work-free Sunday, religious freedom, or the situation of Christians in the Near East and China, to issues where the Church can find areas of convergence with the fashionable left. As one hears, under the aegis of its new President Cardinal Marx the new priority is to campaign against TTIP, the EU/US trade deal currently under negotiation, and to help the European Commission in averting climate change. Good Catholics, it appears, think and do the same as everybody else does. This is what makes them a socially relevant group.
Given the new partnership between the Church and the political left, it perhaps should not come as a surprise that in COMECE’s latest newsletter one finds a rather astonishing article on the political situation in Hungary by one Hans Schelkshorn, a lay professor at the Faculty of Theology of Vienna University. In this article, which is as soundly Catholic as the rants one might always expect to hear from certain MEPs like Guy Verhofstadt and Sophie in ‘t Veld, the professor bemoans the “ideology” of Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán. Continue reading