Zoltan Balogh – Photo: wikipedia

Balog apologises over opinion given in support of presidential pardon

Reformed Bishop Zoltan Balog said on Tuesday that he had been asked to give his opinion and agreed with supporting a presidential pardon granted to Endre K but added that the decision was not made by him.

Balog, who is pastoral president of the Synod of the Hungarian Reformed Church, said in a video message that he had made a mistake, he expressed regret and apologised to all affected persons.

In a message posted on reformatus.hu, Balog said he had called a meeting of his church’s officials on Tuesday to discuss “the attacks directed at him and the church”. He added that the meeting had been attended by four-fifth of the officials and it ended in a secret vote where 86 percent of those present stated support for him.

Balog reacted to recent press allegations according to which it had been on his advice that Katalin Novak, who resigned from the post of President of Hungary on Saturday, granted presidential pardon to a former deputy head of a children’s home in Bicske, near Budapest.

Balog said the request for presidential pardon had not been submitted by him but he was one of the persons whose opinion was asked about it.

“Based on preliminary opinions and information about him [Endre K] and his life, I agreed with granting him pardon, but I was wrong and I made a mistake,” he said.

“I apologise to everyone I must apologise to,” he added.

Balog said it was not him who made a decision concerning the request for presidential pardon and added that it was above question that he was clearly rejecting the crime of paedophilia.

“We have full consent about this, too, in the Reformed Church,” he added.

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