Decreto 20 aprile 1994, n.61
Government Decree 61/1994 on the Army Chaplaincy, 20 aprile 1994
In order to ensure the collective and individual practice of religion, and pastoral care within the military organisations, all registered religious communities, religious denominations, churches (hereinafter together: church) may practise religious activities, on the basis of the soldiers’ requirements.
1. In order to facilitate the provisions of Section 1, the Army Chaplains’ Service (hereinafter: Service) shall be established in the Hungarian Armed Forces, with its scope of activity extended also to the Border Guards.
2. The service consists of the chaplains of four churches and religions: Catholic, Calvinist, Reformed, Lutheran and Jewish.
3. The army chaplains shall carry out their duties in an ecumenical spirit, with respect for denominational religious independence.
The commanding officers of the Hungarian Armed Forces (here¬inafter: HAF) and the Border Guards (hereinafter: BG), and members of the Service shall facilitate the enforcement of the right of registered churches and religions not listed in Section 2, subsection (2) to the practice of religion and pastoral care in accordance with the soldiers’ requirements.
1. Soldiers have the sole right to take advantage of or forgo the Service.
2. Soldiers may not be favoured or discriminated against on the grounds that they take advantage of or forgo the Service.
1. The pastoral activities of the members of the Service are solely governed and supervised by the church. The commanding officers HAF and the BG may not decide on matters regarding religious activities, may not act operational matters, except when the co ordination of Service order is concerned.
2. The operation of the Service may not interfere with the military activities and the order of military training.
TASKS OF THE ARMY CHAPLAINS’ SERVICE
Main tasks of the Service:
a) is to ensure religious and pious life, practice of religion, and celebrate masses, religious services, hold bible readings and prayer meetings,
b) individual and collective pastoral care,
c) day to day practical and moral guidance and education,
d) to carry out social, charitable activities in military medical and social establishments,
e) to provide confidential forums for the soldiers,
f) to provide the soldiers with aids, objects, literature (bible, prayer books, hymn books, religious literature) necessary for the practice of religion,
g) to enable the soldiers to attend domestic and international pilgrimages,
h) to provide religious services for the soldiers and their families.
THE ORGANISATION OF THE ARMY CHAPLAINS’ SERVICE
1. The Service is a uniform organisation directly subordinated to the Ministry of Defence, consisting of three Service branches of equal legal status: Catholic, Protestant (Calvinist Reformed and Lutheran) and Jewish.
2. The supreme organs of the Service are: military ordinary (diocese) in the Catholic Church, army diocese in the Protestant Churches, and army rabbinate in the Jewish denomination.
3. Religious services will be conducted in the military district by army deans, in garrison of great strength by garrison chaplains and at the military academies by professional army chaplains.
4. The number of professional army chaplains shall be established in such a way that there shall be one chaplain for every one thousand sol¬diers in the armed forces in peace time.
5. In time of war, at least one chaplain as a professional or a reservist shall be assigned to every regiment and every brigade.
6. The Service shall carry out its activities, with the consent of the church superiors, on the basis of the organisational and operational reg¬ulations approved by the Minister of Defence.
THE ARMY CHAPLAINS
1. Professional army chaplains and reservist army chaplains shall be on the Service payroll.
2. Auxiliary army chaplains may also work for the Service.
3. Those persons may become army chaplains who have obtained the recommendation of their church (denominational) superiors, with the exception of auxiliary army chaplains, have met the age, medical, fitness, educational and other statutory requirements applicable to soldiers.
4. Army bishops, leading army rabbis and army chaplains shall be appointed (employed) in accordance with the provisions set out in the agreements with the churches concerned.
1. Army chaplains shall adhere to the rules applying to their rank, grading, and the operational order of the military organisation. lf they are in breach of these rules, they can be held responsible on the basis of the rules of law in force applying to soldiers.
2. The army chaplain and the commanding officer of the military organisation shall co-operate in order to accomplish the tasks of the miliitary organisation and the Service without any disturbance.
In accordance with the Geneva Convention on The Victims of War, army chaplains are persons who may not be deployed and shall be treated considerately and be protected in all circumstances.
In accordance with the staff groups of ranking in the armed forces, members of the Service on the payroll are officers and generals of HAF and BG, as required.
Chaplains of the rank of officer may be called up for training and/or drilling.
The auxiliary army chaplain is the chaplain in the local parish or reli¬gious community, who on request, assumes the task of the chaplain of the military organisations in the garrison. He may be remunerated for his activ¬ities.
OPERATIONAL COSTS OF THE ARMY CHAPLAINS’ SERVICE
The costs of setting up and operating the Service shall be borne by the Ministry of Defence, and in respect of the BG, the Ministry of the Interior, in proportion to utilisation.
1. This Decree shall come into force on the eighth day following its promulgation.
2. The Service shall start operating within 60 days of the coming into force of this Decree.