Cover Page

György Bulányi Sch. P.

  • Church order

    Gyula Simonyi

  • Economy of LifeHarmony
  • Challenge of Nonviolence

    Hungary, 1979, 2000
    BOKOR, BOCS Foundation

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  • Foreword

    Each era in human history has its bright shining lights in the midst of darkness, confusion and manipulation. Such lights sometimes are recognized for what they are after the fact. One such light in 20th century communist Hungary was the BOKOR movement. In some ways BOKOR is a 20th century parallel to 16th and 17th century Anabaptism: Jesus is the number one point of reference, the community of love is the place where life is real. Love is the highest of all principles not only in abstract and sentiments, but in the way church order and economic life are being shaped.

    This book is an invitation for the reader to consider a reality often readily dismissed as utopia. It is the tested reality of a movement of love during the hardships of the rule of a materialistic order. Our world - and certainly our churches - need the challenge to think beyond the parameters set by the rule of gain, quick results, and domination. It is a challenge to present-day churches, whether mainline, state or free churches, whether conservative, evangelical, pentecostal or anabaptist, because their most common pattern is one of (male) domination where principles and rules invented by human imagination or world view and imposed by tradition or convenience, are often held higher than the unconditional love of God in Christ.

    The fact that the thoughts presented and the testimony given on these pages grew out of an underground reality in Catholic Hungary does not at all diminish the relevance for the church in the 21st century. If fact this light that was not recognized by the church and society during the cold war era continues to shine for the church of the 21st century. To what degree the BOKOR movement itself will be permitted to play the prophetic role in its own context in the new millenium remains to be seen. But that is the question of any and all prophetic movements in times of transition. The word God spoke through the movement stands today.

    Hansulrich Gerber,
    Director, MCC Europe

    György Bulányi (born in 1919, Hungary) was ordered a priest in 1943, as a member of the piarist order. His name is identifyed with the case of Hungarian basecommunities. He established the Bokor movement in 1945. In 1952 he was sentenced for life. After 9 years inprisonment, he continued his activity. His main work is the six-volumed book "Seek for the Kingdom of God". After decades of state persecution, in 1976 the case of the base communities was drawn into the home affairs of the Catholic church. Cardinal Lekai declared Bulanyi's communities heretic, for more and more members refused military service for conscientious reason. In 1981 the Conference of Bishops condemned his writings, forbid Bulányi to practice as a priest in Hungary and passed on his case to the Congregation in Rome. The Bokor was practically excommunicated. In 1998 he was officially rehabilitated, but practically nothing changed.

    Gyula Simonyi (born in 1953, Hungary) graduated as economist, mathematician, manager, software-engineer and teacher of religion. In the communist period he was in prison as conscientious objector. He was ordered underground way a Roman Catholic priest, as married man with five children. After the political changes in Eastern-Europe - being experienced in underground publication work - he founded and edited the Bokor Community's bimonthly magazin and monthly newsletter.
    Since 1993 he continues peace and environmental work in Eastern-Europe as president of board of the Foundation BOCS (acronym of Bokor Environmental Group - established by him in 1975 -, means in Hungarian "bear-cub" and "forgive me"). Their website (http://bocs.hu) recently has 1500 texts in 14 languages, and 500 pictures.

    György Bulányi Sch.: Church order

    "I will pour out my Spirit on all people Your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams Your young men will see visions." (Joel 2:28)

    The man who builds the Kingdom wants to dream God's dreams. I too would like to dream Jesus' dreams in this study of the church.
    The present study is divided into four main parts. The first will examine the exact meaning of church community. The second chapter measures ideals of leadership within the structure of today's church against Jesus' ideals of leadership. The third looks at the features of the basic community-type church order. The fourth chapter highlights certain problems which arise from the need to prepare for the emergence of this basic community-type of church order within the present church order.
    The writer is well aware of the delicate and dangerous nature of his undertaking, and that it surpasses his strength. This is simply an experiment on his part, nothing more. He begs his brothers, his readers, to join in this experiment. Through their contributions and writings, on the basis of the gifts received from the Holy Spirit, they can help to make this experiment practicable.


    1. Basic Principles of Church Order Modelled on Jesus.
    1. 1. Community, Institution, Structure, Order.
    1. 2. Order and Legal Rights.
    1. 3. Non-Acknowledgement of Excommunication.
    1. 4. Unconditional Elements in the Order of Love.
    1. 4. 1. Jesus.
    1. 4. 2. Love. Respect for the Minority. True Authority.
    1. 4. 3. Community.
    1. 4. 3. 1. Fellowship in the Community.
    1. 4. 3. 2. Fellowship with Peter's Successor.
    1. 4. 3. 3. Fellowship with God.
    1. 4. 4. Autonomy.
    1. 5. Alternative Church Order.
    1. 6. Freedom of Thought.

    2. The Concept of Priest in the Present Church Order.
    2. 1. Community Creators and Sanctuary Servants.
    2. 1. 1. No-One is a Priest.
    2. 1. 2. Everyone is a Priest.
    2. 1. 3. Only Some are Priests.
    2. 2. The Main Features of the Present Concept of Priesthood.
    2. 2. 1. The Priest - a Celibate.
    2. 2. 2. Theology as a Profession.
    2. 2. 3. The Priest is Employed to Work as a Priest.
    2. 2. 4. The Priest is a Leader Appointed from Above.
    2. 3. Consequences.

    3. The Basic Community Model of the Church.
    3. 1. The Basic Community Structure of the Church.
    3. 2. Must Know the One I Wish to Love.
    3. 2. 1. The Three Conditions for a Community.
    3. 2. 2. Do We Have Time for Those with Whom We Share in a Community?
    3. 2. 3. Can our Ideal be Non-Stop Activity?
    3. 2. 4. How Many Basic Communities Can I Have?
    3. 2. 5. The Harmony Between Family, Work, and Gathering Friends.
    3. 3. Offices Can be Dispensed With.
    3. 4. A Wealth of Compassion Instead of a Fund for Officialdom.
    3. 5. A Permanent Council.
    3. 6. A Richer Serving Structure of Qualified People.
    3. 6. 1. Community Leadership.
    3. 6. 2. The Administration of Sacraments.
    3. 6. 3. The Nomination of Community Leaders.
    3. 6. 4. The Method of Election.
    3. 6. 5 The Naming of Levels.
    3. 7. A Model Not Liable to Manipulation.
    3. 8. It Secures the Development of the Personality.
    3. 9. It Makes Christian Unity Possible.

    4. Preparing for Tomorrow's Order
    4. 1. The Parish and the Basic Community.
    4. 2. Priests and the Basic Community.
    4. 3. The Role of the Sacraments in Shaping the Community.
    4. 4 The Receiving of the Sacraments Within the Basic Community.
    4. 5. The Integration of the Basic Communities.
    4. 6. The Estimated Timetable for the Transformation of the Structure.
    4. 7. The Ending of the Tension Between Charisma and Office.
    4. 8. Threats and Overcoming Them.
    4. 9. A Prayer For Humility.

    Gyula Simonyi - Economy of LifeHarmony

    I. Raising the Problem
    1. The Catholic's Official Attitude to Work in Earlier Times
    1.1. Catholic Ethics 1930
    1.2. Some Initial Questions
    2. What Does the Gospel Say about Work?
    3. What Do the Communities' Writings from the Seventies Say about Work? Back to the Darkness?

    II. Consideration of Reality
    4. Fundamental Concepts
    4.1. Two Systems of Production
    4.2. Basic Needs in Order of Importance
    5. Problems of the First System of Production
    5.1. Hunger and Orgy
    5.2. Destruction, Lying, Propaganda
    5.3. Exploitation of the Future
    5.4. The Physicists' and the Workers' Responsibility
    5.5. "The Harvest Is Great But There Are Few Workers to Gather It in" (Matt 9,37)
    5.6. The Non-institutionalized Creation of Independence
    5.7. Summary of the First System of Production's Character (see fig. 2.)
    6. The Roots of the Problems
    6.1. The Train of Thought of Revolutionaries
    6.2. The Gulf Between Power and Morals
    6.3. The Missing Hero

    III. The Christian Call
    7. Worldly? Lay? Civilian! (The Difference Between Priests and Laymen)
    7.1. Harmony of Life
    7.2. Taboos Which Cause the Absence of Heroes
    7.3. Suggestions on How to Awaken a Call
    8. The First System of Production: the Part It Plays in the Christian Call
    8.1. The Correct Measure
    8.2. Choice of Profession
    8.3. Are Our Hands Clean?
    8.4. Reaching Towards a More Humanitarian Direction
    8.5. Towards Our Co-workers and Clients
    8.6. Non-fixed Worktime, Independent Work-sphere
    9. Preparing to Follow the Call
    9.1. Its Importance
    9.2. To Prepare for Harmony of Life
    9.3. Choice of School
    9.4. Positive Ethics
    10. The Second System of Production
    10.1. Why Do We Call It 'System of Production'?
    10.2. What is Necessary?
    10.3. The Second System of Production: Three Important Areas

    IV. Consequences
    11. To Be Poor, to Be Humble, to Be Unprotected
    11.1. The Pivotal Question: Are We Brave Enough To Be Poor?
    11.2. Poverty Is the Instrument to Save the World
    11.3. The Spirit of Poverty
    11.4. Basis for All Our Educational Powers: Self-sacrifice

    Gyula Simonyi - Challenge of Nonviolence (The Four Gospels about Fear.)

    1. Introduction
    1.1. Scandalization of the Disciples
    1.2. The Danger of Scandalization
    1.3. Our Scandalization
    2. Fear Takes You to Sin
    3. The Roots of Fear's Cure
    3.1. Trust
    3.2. Fear of God
    3.3. Wrong Shock of God
    3.4. Fear of the Trouble
    4. The Positive Role of Fear. The Sense of Awareness
    4.1. Fear Is Warning
    4.2. The Sinner's Fear of Worldly Powers
    4.3. Escaping
    4.4. Pure Cleverness
    4.5. Awareness in the Interests of Calling
    4.6. Discipline of Secret
    4.7. Responsibility of the Master and the Disciple for Each Other
    4.8. Awareness in the Interests of Our Eternal Life
    4.9. The Two Types of Awareness Are Linked Together
    5. Jesus Frees Us from Fear
    5.1. He Tells Us in Advance What We Can Expect
    5.2. The Cross: Being Hated and Defenceless
    5.3. "I Prove Its Deeds Are Wicked, Therefore the World Hates Me"
    5.4. "As We, Too, Remit Our Owers' Debts"
    5.5. Peaceful Violent Ones and Unpeaceful Nonviolent Ones
    5.6. The Sense of Being Persecuted
    5.7. Real Freedom
    5.8. Power of God
    5.9. Courage in Being Persecuted and in Peace
    5.10. Courage in the Panics of Mankind
    6. Thankfulness for Happiness
    Questions for Self-exercise or Teaching