László Paskai

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His Eminence

László Paskai

Cardinal, Archbishop Emeritus
of Esztergom-Budapest

Spiritual Protector and Chaplain General
of the Order of Saint Lazarus
Installed3 March 1987
Term ended7 December 2002
PredecessorLászló Lékai
SuccessorPéter Erdő
Other post(s)Cardinal-Priest of S. Teresa al Corso d’Italia
Ordination3 March 1951
Created cardinal28 June 1988
RankArchbishop Emeritus of Esztergom-Budapest
Personal details
Born(1927-05-08)8 May 1927
Szeged, Hungary
Died17 August 2015(2015-08-17) (aged 88)
Esztergom, Hungary
SignatureLászló Paskai's signature
Coat of armsLászló Paskai's coat of arms

László Paskai, O.F.M. (8 May 1927 – 17 August 2015) was a Hungarian cardinal of the 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. He was Spiritual Protector and Chaplain General of the Orléans obedience of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem from 2004 to 2012.

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 were murdered 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 ordination he did pastoral work 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 the 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.

He met with U.S. President George H. W. Bush on 13 October 1989.[2]


After his retirement he lived in Esztergom-Szentgyörgymező, not far from the St Adalbert basilica. In 2005 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.[3] He died on 17 August 2015 at the age of 88.[4]



  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. ^ "Meetings with Foreigners, 1989" (PDF). The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. p. 24. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Ökumene-Feier zur Herzbestattung Habsburgs". Kathweb.at. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  4. ^ Elhunyt Paskai László bíboros Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine - Archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest, 2015-08-17.
  5. ^ "OSLJ: Home".


  • "László Cardinal Paskai, O.F.M." catholic-hierarchy.org. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  • 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 25 January 2010.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Bishop of Veszprém
31 March 1979 – 5 April 1982
Succeeded by
Preceded by Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest
3 March 1987 – 7 December 2002
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Position established
Spiritual Protector and Chaplain General of the Order of st. Lazarus
12 September 2004 – 14 September 2014
Succeeded by