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While Balog Campaigns for Reelection as Synodal President, Some Call for His Resignation from Episcopal Office

Despite resigning from the presidential pastor position in the Reformed Church, Zoltán Balog is making efforts to lead the church again, according to information from HVG360.
Meanwhile, during several last Sunday services, the topic of Zoltán Balog and the grace scandal emerged, with a few pastors sharply demanding his departure from the episcopal office as well.

The scandal within the Hungarian Reformed Church continues, evidenced by several statements made in the past two weeks. Of these, the most significant was from Károly Fekete, the Bishop of the Reformed Church District of Tiszántúl, who called for Balog's resignation after the dean and chief guardian's vote, while Balog still occupied the presidential chair of the reformed synod.

The current relationship between the church and politics is highlighted by the fact that the church alone could not force Balog's resignation. Rather than the dean-chief guardian's assembly handing the proverbial silken cord to the bishop (as much as 86 percent of them supported him), it was delivered by Zsolt Bayer through the pages of Magyar Nemzet.

However, Bayer, the proud owner of FIDESZ membership card number five, is not particularly relevant in Reformed Church matters, as his religious affiliation was last noted when he switched from Lutheran to Catholic. Thus, it is clear that it wasn't the message of the church or the faithful he was conveying.

Although it is worth noting that following the vote, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán made a statement that could have been interpreted as waiting for the church to resolve the situation (he conveyed that as a Reformed believer, he trusts in the church leaders and the strength of the church). But perhaps that was too ambiguous, and hence the necessity for Bayer's more explicit message arose.

For a time, it seemed that the only unanswered question after the resignation was whether Balog could even retain his episcopal seat. However, the former minister's position within the church currently does not seem as precarious.

Our independent sources from within the church say that Balog did not take his resignation seriously and is currently softening up the other three bishops (although he presumably has a tough time with Károly Fekete) so that he may once again be elected by the hundred-member synod from among the bishops as their synodal president.

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