This article was published online by the Magyar Nemzet on 5, August 2021.
Bratislava’s historic city center, with its genuine Central European atmosphere, is easily walkable. The Gothic Cathedral of St. Martin, the coronation church of the Hungarian kings, is located in the old town. Here you will find the Main Square, surrounded by Baroque, Classicist, and Art Nouveau. As we take a stroll around, we will find the Ursuline convent, the Capuchin House, the old town hall, and the Franciscan church. You can easily walk around the building – and this was abused by the very individual (or individuals) who defiled the church’s wall, the convent, the monastery, the Jesuit church and the old town hall building with LGBTQ inscriptions.
The English messages were written on the white walls in the color of blood. The vandals painted English words on the Christian buildings: “God is Trans”, “Queer revolution is coming”, “and “Queer power”.
According to a municipal police officer, all of this could have happened when there was a switch between service providers. He stressed that the case is being handled not as a violation, but as a crime. We looked at the graffiti on the Franciscan church together with the Franciscan monk, Arnold. He told us that the case is under investigation, but they do not know if the perpetrator is visible on camera. He does not consider it healthy to appear this way.
“The Holy Father is coming in September, who understands this community. This is not the way to draw attention to yourself. This is particularly difficult too because we cannot remove these messages from this protected historical building. It must be removed with a restoration. Thus, this will stay on the wall even longer”
– said Brother Arnold, listing the problems, shaking his head and pointing out Pope Francis’ arrival to Slovakia in September.
“This is unacceptable. On the one hand it caused great damage and huge costs” complained József Hal’ko, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Bratislava. “At the same time, the church remains a church, so even if someone tries to humiliate it, through the sacrament Jesus Christ is waiting for the perpetrator to repent. The police are searching for the perpetrators, and we must find them because those who caused this purposefully defiled our church and monasteries.
The word of the Gospel is still true however, uttered by Jesus Christ: “repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.” We pray for the perpetrators, for there is no peace in the heart of one who did this”
– said József Hal’ko.
We addressed several passers-by and it turned out that many did not understand the English words painted on the walls. One man said indignantly that he did not understand why someone would want to draw attention to themselves by such means and make their views known through vandalism. We also met a sister of the Ursuline nuns who refused to make a statement, in accordance with their characteristic restraint. She was rushing to mass, because the most important thing was to get there in time.
This state is not changed by some graffiti, nor by the rejections of many in Slovakia, Hungary, or anywhere in the world.
Adrienn Bényei (Bratislava)