An ethnic Hungarian Franciscan monk from Transylvania, Csaba Böjte, who is the founder of a national network of orphanages in Romania, announced on Monday on his Facebook page that the social network removed his mass on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Trianon Treaty as well as opinions he shared about the U.S. riots sparked by the death of George Floyd.
“I didn’t believe there is censorship on Facebook, but the social network deleted my Trianon service and the related musings,” Böjte wrote on his Facebook page. “So, I am now attempting to share it again, with a heavy heart…”
His mass was held in remembrance of 100th anniversary of the Trianon Treaty which divided more than two-thirds of the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary among its neighbors, and was one of thousands of events mourning the occasion in and around Hungary. One of the nations that absorbed Hungarian territory was Romania, where Böjte now lives and works.
Böjte added that the network also deleted his thoughts on the roots of the U.S. riots as well.
“It is dreadful, but it seems that freedom of speech is being curtailed in front of our eyes for political reasons,” he wrote.
Böjte, in the video posted to Youtube, said in Hungarian that the present generation of ethnic Hungarians in the region still suffer the consequences of the peace treaty signed 100 years ago. “What happened then is in no way our fault, but we are still being punished for it.”
Regarding ongoing repression of minority rights in Romania, Böjte said in a video, “I am ashamed that our politicians are still not looking a way forward, a way for progression. This permanent conflict is emptying our churches, are villages and cities. One cannot live amid permanent tension.”
He noted that ethnic Hungarians are “still not looking for a way forward in our villages and cities”.
It is unclear why Facebook may have censored Böjte’s video, but the topic of the Trianon Treaty still remains a sensitive one in modern times.
Böjte, 60, is an ethnic Hungarian Franciscan monk who established the St. Francis Foundation and its adjacent orphanage in Déva in central Romania in 1992 when he illegally occupied a Franciscan monastery there, which has been abandoned for decades.
He continued to stay there despite repeated eviction attempts by the Romanian authorities. His orphanage has since grown into a nationwide network that currently cares for 2,500 orphaned children and for children with parents living in deep poverty who cannot support their families. Another several hundred children are also part of a foster parent scheme.
A soft-spoken man with a conciliatory manner, Böjte has received over a dozen awards for his humanitarian work, including the middle cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit in 2010 and the Pro Cultura Hungarica award in 2019.
Title image: Csaba Böjte in September 2019 (photo: Dénes Albert)