SECOND big blow against the Church in Hungary, following the conclusion of the Church-State agreement, came this week in the form of a new Government decree governing the teaching of religion, which will make hoth the subject and teacher the pariahs of the schools.
First big blow was the virtual dissolution of the religious orders which came before the ink on the agreement which was to have protected their interests had dried.
The new decree, issued by the Minister of Religion and Public Education, prescribes that teachers can be appointed only by the city or county councils (which today are virtually soviets) acting upon the recommendations of Church authorities.
The appointment can, however, be ended if a teacher shows himself to he hostile to the regime and its ideas.
Teachers of religion will be permitted to take no other subjects. will be isolated from the pupils even in their recreation, they will be obliged to leave the premises as soon as their classes are completed, and will be forbidden to associate with the rest of the staff.
The majority of such teachers are of course priests, yet no religion classes, will be permitted outside school hours. To maintain the appearance of " fair treatment " they will he paid State teachers' salaries (so making them the servants of the State). with paid holidays and other social insurance benefits.
It will be impermissible to punish children for absenting themselves from religion classes. no marks will be awarded—so depriving teachers of the right to use either discipline Or inducements—and text books will be approved by the Ministry.