In sum, I remember the Blessed John Scheffler as a brave, conventionally pious Hungarian bishop, wholly dedicated to church and Pope, whose elevation to martyrdom resulted from his imprisonment in Jilava that he courageously bore during the final two months of his life.
Szilárd Bogdánffy was was born on February 21, 1911, in Feketetó (Crna Bara), then southern Hungary and now part of Serbia. Both his parents were teachers. In 1925 he entered the gymnasium of the Piarists in Temesvár (now Timişoara in Romania) and after graduation, he was accepted as a student of theology in the diocesan seminary of Nagyvárad, where he was ordained priest in 1934. By this time Nagyvárad, renamed Oradea, had become part of the Romanian kingdom. He was sent to continue his theological studies at the University of Budapest and gained a doctorate with a dissertation on "Apocalyptics in the Synoptic Gospels". (During our daily contact for the best part of two years, I never heard from him anything to suggest that he was an expert in the New Testament.)
On his return to Szatmár, he joined the staff of the local seminary and held the office of spiritual director when I was there between 1942 and 1944. I lost touch with him after May 1944.
As I mentioned earlier, after the end of the second world war the anti-religious campaign of the Romanian communist government sought to abolish all links between the Romanian Catholic Church and the Vatican. To counteract the communist persecution of the Church, the Holy See authorised the clandestine ordination of new bishops. The stratagem was soon detected by the Securitate police. Szilárd Bogdánffy was chosen by Rome and was secretly consecrated in February 1949 by the papal nuncio in Bucharest. His task was to work underground as auxiliary bishop of Satu Mare and bishop of Oradea. But he was an inexperienced agent and his cover was soon blown. Like Scheffler, he too was first invited to lead a separatist Church with no Vatican connections, but like Scheffler he declined the offer. As a result, two months after his episcopal ordination he was arrested and spent the next four years in various prisons, where he, like the other political inmates, was inhumanly treated. He suffered with humility. His last jail was at Aiud (Nagyenyed), where he died without medical attendance of pneumonia on October 3, 1953.
- ONLINE ONLY: Overpopulation and the Reality of Grandchildren
- ONLINE ONLY: Sharia Threatens All Women, Muslim and Non-Muslim
- ONLINE ONLY: The Last Days of the Divvy
- A Party Overrun by Lads and Libertines
- The Myth of Cameron's Etonian 'Chumocracy'
- Here Lie the Remains of Tory Modernisation
- Forget 'Islamophobia'. Let's Tackle Islamism
- Neoconservatism: A Good Idea That Won't Go Away
- Have You Heard the One About Auschwitz?
- Cameron's Too Late To Tame the UKIP Tiger
- ONLINE ONLY: Thoughts from a Hospital Bed
- ONLINE ONLY: Academic Boycotts Teach Us Nothing
- ONLINE ONLY: Send in the Clowns
- ONLINE ONLY: Thatcher, Reagan and the Dictators
- The Resolute Courage of Margaret Thatcher
- America's New Isolationists Are Endangering the West
- An Alternative To Our Reckless Energy Gamble
- The Family is the Key to the Future of Faith
- Persecuted Muslims Who Love Life in England
- They Were the Future of the Tory Party, Once