László Paskai

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His Eminence
László Paskai, O.F.M.
Cardinal, Archbishop Emeritus of Esztergom-Budapest
Esztergom - Paskai László.JPG
Archdiocese Esztergom-Budapest
Installed 3 March 1987
Term ended 7 December 2002
Predecessor László Lékai
Successor Péter Erdő
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of S. Teresa al Corso d’Italia
Ordination 3 March 1951
Created Cardinal 28 June 1988
Rank Archbishop Emeritus of Esztergom-Budapest
Personal details
Born (1927-05-08) 8 May 1927 (age 88)
Szeged, Hungary
Nationality Hungarian
Denomination Catholic
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Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}

László Paskai, O.F.M. (born 8 May 1927 in Szeged) is a Hungarian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, He served as the archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest from 1987 to 2002.

He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.

Early life[edit]

László Paskai was born to Jewish parents who had converted to the Roman Catholic faith before the birth of their son and who later died during the Holocaust.[1]

Clerical career[edit]

He was ordained a priest at the age of 23, on 3 March 1951, joining the Order of Friars Minor. After his ordaination he did pastoral ministry in the diocese of Nagyvarad before being sent to Budapest for further studies. In Szeged, he served as episcopal master of ceremonies from 1952 to 1955. After this he was a faculty member and librarian of its seminary, 1955–1962. Thereafter serving as prefect of the Interdiocesan Seminary, faculty member and spiritual director until 1965. He later served as a faculty member and spiritual director and finally rector of the Central Seminary, Budapest. On 2 March 1978 he was chosen Apostolic Administrator of Veszprém, becoming a bishop that same day, with the titular see of Bavagaliana.

Pope John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of Veszprém on 31 March 1979. He was appointed Primate of Hungary and Archbishop of Esztergom on 3 March 1987. He was created Cardinal-Priest of Santa Teresa al Corso d'Italia. In 1993 the dioceses of Esztergom was united with that of Budapest, so that Cardinal Paskai was the first Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest. Cardinal Paskai retired as Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest in 2002.


Since his retirement he has been living in Esztergom-Szentgyörgymező, not far from the St Adalbert basilica. In 2005 Cardinal Paskai became the Spiritual Protector of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem (Paris/Orleans Obedience). In the same year he participated in the Papal Conclave which elected Pope Benedict XVI.

On 17 July 2011, he celebrated the last in a series of requiems for Otto von Habsburg, Hungary's last Crown Prince and since pretender to the throne, in St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest.[2]


  1. ^ Paskai, Antal: Menekülésünk története 1944–1945 [The Story of our Escape 1944–1945], Budapest, 2009 (In this book, the Cardinal's elder brother recounts their life during the Holocaust.)
  2. ^ "Ökumene-Feier zur Herzbestattung Habsburgs". Kathweb.at. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 


  • "László Cardinal Paskai, O.F.M.". catholic-hierarchy.org. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  • Stirling János, ed. (2003). In virtute spiritus. A Szent István Akadémia emlékkönyve Paskai László bíboros tiszteletére (in Hungarian). Budapest: Szent István Társulat. 
  • "Paskai László bíboros 80 éves" (in Hungarian). Magyar Katolikus Püspöki Konferencia. 8 May 2007. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
László Kádár
Bishop of Veszprém
31 March 1979 – 5 April 1982
Succeeded by
József Szendi
Preceded by
László Lékai
Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest
3 March 1987 – 7 December 2002
Succeeded by
Péter Erdő