Searching for Ways under Coercion

“Greek Catholic bishop Dudás is also one of the chief enemies of democracy, “ declared Mátyás Rákosi at the 4 June 1948 meeting of the Council of Ministers at which Minister of the Interior László Rajk reported on the events of Pócspetri. The communist ministers were discussing the repressive steps that they planned to take, when Rákosi made his ominous pronouncement. Demonstrations were held throughout the country against the planned nationalization of the religious schools. At a tumultuous protest meeting in Pócspetri a policeman was fatally wounded by an accidently fired weapon. By bringing charges against the local  Roman Catholic parish priest and convicting him, the Communist Party wished to use the incident for intimidating the Catholic Church, including its bishops, clergy and faithful. Rákosi, in outlining a total war against the enemy of “clerical reaction,” had indicated where bishop Dudás, a follower of Cardinal Mindszenty, stood. 
At around the same time a document from the Foreign Ministry clearly indicated the communist interpretation of the Greek Catholic question, 
“In the political sphere the effect of the Vatican appears naturally not only through the Roman Catholic Church but also through the Greek Catholic Church. In as much as a viable Hungarian Orthodox Church would come into existence in Hungary, it could serve as a battering ram against the Greek Catholic Church and would allow the issue of the Greek Catholic Church returning to the fold of the old faith to be raised, and the union to be dissolved. This is what has happened in Ukraine and is currently underway in Poland, and in Ruthenia. In all events, the people’s democracies must support those Churches, whose ecclesiastical direction is not outside of Russia, or at least not in enemy foreign lands.”
Above all, the dissolution of the Greek Catholic Church would have served the purpose of lessening the influence of the main ideological enemy, the Vatican, on the faithful. That is why the goal became the reassignment of the Hungarian Greek Catholic Church to the authority of the Moscow Patriarchate, which was not centered in a foreign enemy land and was under the total oversight of the Soviets. For this purpose Rákosi asked for the assistance of the Soviet comrades by requesting the assignment to Hungary of a Russian priest, who spoke Hungarian. He would then unite the some ten thousands of Orthodox, who lived under various jurisdictions in Hungary. Afterwards, he could assist in dissolving the Greek Catholic Church. In response to the request of the Hungarian Party leader, in October 1949 Moscow sent protoier Ivan Kopolovics, who quickly recognized the difficulties of his task. Despite the emphatic help of the Hungarian State, he could not bring the Orthodox in Hungary under one jurisdiction, which would have been a precondition for the assimilation of the 250,000 strong Greek Catholic faithful. Although at the time of his visit in 1950 the Metropolitan of Prague Jelev Ferij had expressed his hope that Kopolovics can successfully liquidate the Greek Catholic Church in Hungary, just as he had done in Czechoslovakia, the prospects seemed increasingly remote. 
In writing about the Greek Catholics in 1952, Kopolovics himself observed, “they appear to be made of very tough wood.” He noted that there seemed to be little interest in Orthodoxy in the clergy  and implied that if their Church should be eliminated, the majority of Greek Catholics would chose either the Roman Catholic Church or some Protestant denomination. He thought that there might be some Greek Catholics, above all clergy, who might be willing to leave their Church but, due to bishop Dudás’ determined stance, their identities could not be known. Therefore, he recommended very thorough preparations. While Kopolovics was collecting information, or perhaps even earlier, Rákosi came to the conclusion that the constant threat of dissolution would be more effective than dissolution itself. Liquidation constituted merely a single step with uncertain consequences, and the worst case scenario from the perspective of state power would be the creation of a catacomb Church that could only be kept under observation and suppressed with considerable effort and expense by the state security apparatus. In contrast, the threat to dissolve the Greek Catholic Church could be employed during every dispute to blackmail the Greek Catholic bishop.
Furthermore, it is highly likely that drawing on their experiences in liquidating the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine, the Soviets eventually did not press for the elimination of the Geek Catholic Church in Hungary. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church continued its activities as a catacomb Church, and thereby posed a serious challenge to the KGB. The Russian Secret Police were primarily interested in the instructions arriving from the Holy See, as well as the opinions and plans of the Roman Curia and the leading cardinals concerned in the matter. The existence of a Greek Catholic bishop in Hungary, who was in contact with the Holy See, and whose surroundings could be infiltrated with informants, offered to be a distinct advantage for gathering information. Even during the last years of the 1960s the KGB sent an agent, known as Potocsina, to Hungary, who under the guise of visiting relatives tried to gain the confidence of bishop Dudás in order to obtain information about the connections between the Holy See and the catacomb Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
Consequently, the Hungarian Greek Catholic Church escaped liquidation and its fate became entangled with the fate of the Roman Catholic Church. In theory, its legal functioning was guaranteed by the state but its possibilities were abnormally restricted. The workings of the Chancery Office came under complete oversight.
At the end of 1948, when archbishop Mindszenty was arrested, the threatening words of Rákosi turned into reality. During the evening on 30 December Bishop Dudás was taken to be interrogated in Budapest, directly to the office of Minister of the Interior János Kádár, who waved a large bundle of papers in front of him and declared that the bishop could easily be convicted based on the documents. He also noted that Cardinal Mindszenty had provided incriminating evidence against him. Kádár asked him to resign, and then the charges would be dropped. The goal of the interrogation was intimidation. They wanted “to prepare” the bishop for the Conference of bishops starting on 4 January. The minutes of the bishops’ conference and the reports of an informant, who had been infiltrated, revealed that the devilish tactic of intimidation really worked. The abused bishop remained silent during the meeting. In the opinion of the Archbishop of Eger Gyula Czapik, bishop Dudás had become a suspect based on the initiative of János Varjú, an orthodox priest, who had prepared the way for Kapolovics’ activities. During a break in the Conference of Bishops Dudás revealed his fears to a layman, who was close to the Conference of Bishops. He did not know that the individual by that time was an informant infiltrated to spy on the bishops. And he immediately reported the confidential conversation to the authorities. The bishop told him that he could not sleep since his meeting with Kádár. He knew that as a Greek Catholic he could count on rough treatment from the communists because the brutality with which the Soviets persecuted the Church in Ukraine and Sub-Carpathia was well-known. He feared that the Hungarian communists will turn him over to the Russians. The informant advised him, “not to expose himself too much as a supporter of Mindszenty, and then there would certainly not be any problems.” The bishop was happy to be able to share his fears with someone, and the conversation somewhat soothed his fears. His peace only lasted for a few hours. That night the bishops met with Rákosi and Kádár, who were unusually aggressive. Kádár’s target was once again bishop Dudás, and he once again presented a letter – the contents of which are unknown – that he said demonstrated the guilt of the Greek Catholic bishop. The informant reporting on the next day’s bishops’ meeting stated, “Dudás, who yesterday had been relatively relaxed, was completely intimidated after his exposure by Minister of the Interior Kádár.”
The events of 30 December and 4 January were a preview of what bishop Dudás could expect during the next two decades: intimidation, blackmail, and betrayal by informers. 
After the nationalization of the religious schools and as a result of the forced agreement between the Church and the state, the law banning the activities of the religious orders was enacted in 1950. The law declared that effective 5 December every member of every religious order was compelled to leave his house. This began the exile and dispersion of the members of religious orders. For a while, the monastery in Máriapócs served as a compulsory residence, and during the summer the members of other orders were forcibly taken there. The spirit of the persecuted monks was rather well reflected in the observations noted in the guestbook, “We have been brought to this compulsory residence. We came voluntarily to the Theotokos.” According to the law, thirty-four Basilian monks, among them sixteen consecrated priests, fourteen novices, and four brothers, as well as twenty-eight sisters, including four novices, were compelled to leave their monasteries. The monastery in Máriapócs was also nationalized, and only the ground floor of the wing near the church remained as a parish house. The Council of the Capital City used it as a social welfare home. The Basilian Fathers were forced to leave their residence in Hajdúdorog, as well as their domicile in Kispest, which had been established in 1948. The Province of St. Stephen, founded in 1947 under the leadership of father Bertalan Dudás was disbanded.
At the beginning of their new road to Calvary, when the external circumstances were perhaps more unfavorable than at any other time, the Greek Catholics could console themselves with the realization of their old dream. By donating a portion of the bishop’s residence, Bishop Dudás brought into being a seminary and theological  college. He indicated their foundation in a letter of 6 September 1950 to the Ministry of Religion and Public Education, and the ministry acknowledged this in its letter of response. The unexpected decision of bishop Dudás, which still lacked any financial foundation, was also motivated by the opportunity it provided for the placement of the novices of the disbanded Basilian Order. 
The permission of the state authorities at first might appear surprising because at that time the shrinking and closing of Catholic institutions was far more typical. At the same time, the decision of bishop Dudás could also be advantageous from the perspective of the communists. The official goal in 1950 was that the Greek Catholics had to be separated from the Catholic Church. From this perspective, the removal of the Greek Catholic seminarists from the Central Seminary and thereby from the influence of the Latin Church seemed positively worthy of support. Furthermore, the complete oversight of the Greek Catholic Church would be made easier if the seminarists were all in one place and in the very same building as the Chancery Office. Obviously the institution could only operate under the total mercy of the state authorities, which provided opportunities for the infiltration of informer teachers. The informant documents, which still remain and are known to exist, demonstrate that the state authorities were able to use this opportunity to gather information. The communists were knowledgeable about the significance of the seminary for the replenishment of the clergy and the importance of the school for the workings of the Greek Catholic Church. These facts improved the state’s potential to blackmail the already intimidated bishop.
The seminary opened under extremely modest conditions with five first-year and ten second-year students. The first rector became the Basilian János Imre Liki, who served in this capacity until 1958. The Vice Rector’s duties were fulfilled by secretary István Rojkovics. Starting with 1951, the office of prefect was assigned to János Hollós, a canon law jurist. Another Basilian, Ágoston Orosz, whom state security only tolerated for eleven months, served as the spiritualist. His successor Gyula Kovács was also only able to lead the seminarists for one year. After his departure, Jenő Palatitz and the highly learned liturgist Ferenc Rohály were able to fill this very important seminary office for longer periods of time. During the first few years the changing of teachers due to state pressure was common. In 1952, the former Basilian novices were forced to leave the seminary. The institution also needed the sacrificing efforts Basilian Sisters who had been expelled from their monasteries. The bishop wrote in a circular letter to his clergy on 15 September 1950,
“… now, when under modest circumstances we open our seminary at the center of our eparchy with first- and second-year students, we humbly pray to the Lord, and I ask you enthusiastic prayers also for this, and let the opening of our institution serve as the lighting of a torch for our eparchy . Let this institution for forming priests in Hungary be a hearth for Greek Catholics. And let it be a furnace where the souls of the bishop, the clergy, the seminarians and the faithful are melted into one in faith, love and loyalty to the Church.“
Especially the last of the cited statements proved to be significant in the light of the events of the immediately preceding days. In order to disrupt the unity of the bishops and the clergy and to break the resistance of the prelates, the communist authorities in August 1950 had created the National Commission of the Catholic Clergy for Promotion of Peace and won over priests, who wished to oppose their bishops, in order to lead the organization. The cover activity of the organization was the promotion of peace but in reality it functioned as a parallel power structure within the Church. The State Office of Church Affairs, established by the authorities in 1951, ensured that the priests who joined the movement and were willing to assume leadership roles would be provided with various advantages. The dilemma of a “narrow path” or a “broad way” also forced the Greek Catholic clergy to make choices. All those who chose to take active roles in the peace movement and thereby selected the “broad way” received their reward by 1952 due to the intercession of the State Office of Church Affairs. New protosyncellus generals, director of the Chancery office, deans and archdeans were appointed. Soon the more important parishes also gained “peace clergy.” Those who maintained their distance from the peace movement could expect to be transferred and placed on a sidetrack. The creation of a peace movement among the Greek Catholic priests constituted a part of the proper preparation recommended as necessary by  a protoier, Kopolovics in order to convert them to the Orthodox Church. One of the basic pillars of the movement was to place a part of the clergy in opposition to its legal bishop. In the Greek Catholic Church the opposition was in part revealed by the conflict between bishop Miklós Dudás, who was determined to remain with Rome, and the peace clergy, who did not reject the idea of leaving. Based on what we know today, the true danger of a schism cannot be determined. The fact remains that some peace clergy used the threat of converting to orthodoxy to blackmail the bishop. Without revealing their names, “the peace priests of Borsod County,” probably in the spring of 1961, threatened bishop Dudás in this way,
“Perhaps you fear a schism? Let us assure you that at the moment our goal is not to split with Rome. For the time being we will be satisfied if the benevolent God will liberate us from you. Think before it is not too late. You will be responsible, if in the future we are compelled to take up tougher means.”
The arrest and detention of some priests was also an instrument of intimidation. In 1950, the AVO arrested and imprisoned Géza Békés, parish priest of Vértes, and in 1952 they did the same with Miklós Véghseő, the assistant priest of Hajdúszoböszörmény. In both cases their relatives were unable to discover where they were being held.
The state authorities kept the Greek Catholic Church under surveillance not just through the State Office of Church Affairs but also through the creation of a network of informers. The efforts by the state security authorities to recruit among the clergy proved to be successful in some instances. The willingness to become an informant and to provide information and reports involved different motivations for different people. Some were recruited through intimidation and threats but there were others who desired to satisfy their ambitions and to move their careers forward by carrying out these assignments. There were even some priests, who worked as informants based on the conviction that they were serving the survival of the Church. The priests, who accepted the role of informant, believed that the communist system was so strong and unshakable that they did not consider the possibility of its collapse. The defeat of the revolution in 1956, the repression that followed, and the consolidation of the Kádár era further strengthened their conviction, which led them astray and into a dead end. Those among them who lived to see the collapse of the communist regime experienced not only the shame of their exposure but also the shame of their one-time lack of faith. The experiences of both the peace clergy and the informant priests convey an important message to future generations. There will be systems in the future that persecute the Church, and there may arise forces that perhaps seem indestructible and that will desire to destroy the Church. There will be opportunities to make a stand and to reject the lack of faith and the “broad way,” and to find the path of loyalty. In this question, the current generation’s most important task is not to judge but to draw the lessons and to forge them into experiences that will strengthen the community and to pass this on to the next generation.
The series of trials caused the health of bishop Miklós Dudás to deteriorate. The revolt in 1956 began while he was receiving treatment in a hospital. He travelled from Budapest to Nyíregyháza in order to use the moment of freedom to expel the peace clergy from the most important offices. During the following spring, more extensive medical treatment became unavoidable, which, with the assistance of the Eastern Congregation, was carried out in Arosa, Switzerland between April 1957 and March 1958. The permission granted by the state for this trip was probably due to the desire of the state security apparatus for information. If they allowed bishop Dudás to establish foreign contacts, then there is a larger possibility of obtaining information about the Holy See for the whole socialist camp through the informants infiltrated into his surroundings. In the absence of the bishop the eparchy was led by protosyncellus István Rojkovics. After his return, the bishop was forced by state pressure to remove János Liki as rector, who was sent to Bodrogkeresztúr, the place of refuge the expelled Basilians. He named Béla Bacsóka as the new rector, and he served in this capacity until 1984. In April 1959, the bishop was compelled to confront a serious crisis. Miklós Beresztóczy, the leader of the National Peace Movement of the Clergy, wanted to make a presentation before seminarists. Since Beresztóczy, together with his associates, had been excommunicated by the Holy See, bishop Dudás was not permitted to allow the presentation. He was aware that his action would lead to the most serious consequences. One month earlier at the Central Seminary superiors and students were dismissed over a similar matter. Prepared for any eventuality, on 17 April, he assembled the clergy of Nyíregyháza and the seminarists in the chapel of the seminary and read aloud his position in the matter. He declared that he cannot comply with the request to openly disobey the Holy See by allowing the suspended Beresztóczy to make his presentation. If the price is the continuation of the seminary, then he himself will disband it. He called on the seminary students that if this were to happen they should be good citizens. He expected the consequences to be so serious that he had prepared a will during the last few days. In the end Beresztóczy did not appear and the sanctions were milder than expected. The bishop was not allowed to leave the area of Nyíregyháza for a time, his younger brother was not allowed to work, and ten priests in the vicinity of the bishop were denied their revenues as priests.
Bishop Dudás celebrated the twentieth anniversary of his consecration as bishop in the same year. Due to the recent events he only wanted a brief thanksgiving. In his sermon he looked back on the past, evaluated the present, and anticipated the future by saying:
“Today, after twenty years of great aspirations and on the ruins of sacred plans, I say together with Job; The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. There is still, however, something in my devastated soul after twenty years. Above all my faith, at least in God, but no! I believe also in my eparchy. Amid the many compromises and uncertainties I can see signs revealing that there are, and through God’s grace there always will be, those for whom the Catholic faith and the Holy Mother Church are more dear than anything else.”
About his own path and hopes, he said:
“At one time many people surrounded me. Many times tens of thousands of individuals stood near me when I proclaimed the Kingdom of God in Máriapócs, Budapest, Hajdúdorog and in other places. And now when I have come to the slope of Calvary, it seems as if I have been left all by myself. There are times when I feel entirely abandoned, as if I am struggling alone to climb up to the summit for the finish. But that is not the way it really is. I know that this appearance is false. I am certain that the priests and faithful of the Greek Catholic Hungarians with good intentions will not stumble on the slope of this unceasing road to Calvary. After all, we already know that salvation only awaits on top of the ridge, the Grace of God. There stands the cross, and it is our only salvation. In cruce salus.”
After the trials of the 1950s, the third decade of his bishop’s tenure brought some relief to his exhausted and “devastated soul,” as well as two important results. The Eastern policy of the Holy See led to a partial settlement with the Hungarian state in 1964. This agreement did not fundamentally change the situation of the Catholic Church and did not relax the severe oversight but it did produce some concessions. Perhaps this contributed to the fact that bishop Dudás was able to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of his consecration in a somewhat more optimistic atmosphere. Nevertheless the János Kádár, who had proclaimed the policy of “whoever is not against us, is with us,” in 1961, always remained for bishop Dudás the Minister of the Interior, who had tried to intimidate him. In addition to the clergy of the eparchy, several members of the eparchy attended the celebrations held in Nyíregyháza on 14 May 1964. The bishop’s circular letter issued for the occasion was more optimistic, 
“And behold! We are still here. We are still alive. God’s great mercy has preserved us. Even if the formation of a perfect people remains a task for the future, we have still managed to get ahead a bit. Our institutions have started to grow, and our seminary for forming priests is still blessedly working today. God’s goodness has looked upon our weakness, strengthened our self-understanding, and lifted us out of ignorance. Byzantine Christianity is 900 years-old in St. Stephen’s land. And today our memories are preserved not just in ancient parchments and ruins in Veszprém Valley, Visegrád, and elsewhere. Today, a family of one quarter million Hungarian Greek Catholics now forged together and ready to live and develop stands ready, stands ready for its mission. We are no longer a historical relic, or memorabilia for a museum, but an organic part and active element in Hungarian Catholicism. We are Catholic and at the same time Hungarian, just like everyone else in this country.”
Of all the concessions by the state, the most important for the Greek Catholics was the permission for bishop Dudás to participate in the last session of the Second Vatican Council. A delegation representing the Hungarian Catholic Church had already participated in the first session in 1962. Imre Timkó (1920-1988), a professor of the Budapest Theological Academy, had been one of its members. An outstanding expert in Eastern studies, he had paid a call on his bishop in order to receive his blessing for the trip and his instructions. Bishop Dudás, who had not received permission to leave the country, did not provide him with permission to represent the Hungarian Greek Catholic Church and told him that the professor, as private person, should use his best judgment on what he said, and with whom he wished to enter into discussions. It is possible that bishop Dudás knew, or had reason to suspect, that the scholarly professor had been working as an informant for the state security apparatus since 1955. Since the Eastern Congregation had not for a long time been able to collect information on the Hungarian Greek Catholics, they asked Imre Timkó, who had been sent to Rome, to provide oral and later written reports. In his detailed report the professor called attention to one of the most burning problems :disorganized canonical situation of the Hungarian Greek Catholic people in the diaspora parishes. Since he himself had performed pastoral work in Budapest, he could draw on his own experiences and provide concrete examples of the difficulties in practice, especially on the seemingly hostile attitude of the Bishop of Vác and the opposition of the Latin Rite clergy. Although the fragmentation of the situation could only be solved years later, Imre Timkó’s report helped to draw the Eastern Congregation’s attention to the problem of diaspora parishes.
Bishop Dudás was permitted to travel to the last session of the Council, which took place from 14 September to 8 December 1965. After his arrival he submitted a request to the council’s secretary to celebrate a Saint Liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica in the presence of the fathers attending the council. His request was not unusual, since every day the session of the council started with one of the fathers celebrate the Divine Liturgy. The secretary of the council designated 19 November, the day of St. Elizabeth of the House of Árpád as the day for the Hungarian Greek Catholic bishop’s Liturgy. During this last session of the Council, intense debates over diverse questions dominated. The various parts of the debate held on the constitution, on atheism, the Gaudio et spes proved to be among the most significant. Several fathers in attendance had encouraged the Council to take a determined stance against strident atheism and communism. This expectation was not, however, in complete harmony with Pope Paul VI’s (1963-1978) encyclical Ecclesiam suam promulgated in 1964, which called for a dialogue with atheistic communism. In order to move this dialogue forward the Pope in 1965 established a secretariat for dealing with non-believers. When the fourth session opened in September 1965 and the fathers received the latest version of Gaudiam et spes, some were disappointed to learn that the planned document did not even mention communism. This prompted twenty-five bishops to request in writing the resolute condemnation of communism. Later an amendment to this effect was prepared, which was signed by 450 fathers attending the council. A newer version of the constitution was distributed on Saturday 13 November. The signatories of the amendment were stunned to discover that their recommendation had not been included in the text, and the official report of the combined committee, which was responsible for the document, made no mention of even the proposed amendment. Since the vote was already scheduled for Monday, 15 November, the initiators of the amendment asked the council for a signed reservation in which they requested that the council formally reaffirm the long-held teaching of the Church on this subject. Simultaneously, an inquiry began on what had happened to the recommendation for an amendment that had been signed by 450 fathers at the council. On 15 November an expert of the combined committee, the Jesuit Roberto Tucci, declared to newspaper reporters that the recommendation for the amendment had not reached the members of the committee. He added enigmatically that perhaps it had been red carded on the way. The matter received a great deal of attention in the press, and the papers on 17 and 18 November devoted extensive articles to the curious fate of the amendment to condemn communism.
 On the next day, 19 November, bishop Dudás celebrated the Saint Liturgy. The coincidence was accidental because the date for the celebration had been set in September, as the bishop himself explained in a letter to his younger brother. It is, however, worthy of consideration that precisely at the moment when the condemnation of communism was left out of the document in order to serve the interests of the more powerful, a man who constituted a living testimonial, a bishop, who himself had suffered under a strident communist system, should stand in front of the fathers of the council. Bishop Dudás celebrated the Saint Liturgy entirely in the Hungarian language. This fact was not particularly relevant for the participants of the council but for the Hungarian Greek Catholics it represented the end of a century of struggle. The bitterness of the long and difficult road leading to the Hungarian Liturgy, which had been filled with disappointments and prohibitions by the Holy See, came finally to an end with the celebration of the Liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica. Upon his return the bishop expressed his joy with the following words, “What our ancestors desired for centuries has now been accomplished, now the most beautiful fruit of their, and our, hopes have come to fruition.” 
In 1968, another old wish came true with the canonical regularization of the Greek Catholic diaspora parishes. The Second Vatican Council in its decision on the Eastern Churches urged everyone to keep, respect and use their own rites. The Greek Catholic diaspora parishes were had been prevented from this by canonical constraints. In order to deal with this problem, bishop Dudás, during his 1968 trip to Rome, asked for his legal jurisdiction to be extended to all Greek Catholics living in Hungary. At first as an experimental measure, Pope Paul VI approved this for three years, and after their expiration renewed it for another three years. After the expansion of his legal jurisdiction, the bishop appointed Canon Imre Timkó as protosyncellus for Greek Catholics diasporas. The Conference of Hungarian Catholic Bishops promulgated a circular letter that provided a practical guide for both the Latin and the Greek Rite clergy.
The establishment of the Vicariate for the diaspora parishes proved to be the last and most significant accomplishment of Miklós Dudás as a bishop. Struggling with ever more serious illnesses, the bishop offered his resignation to the Pope but Pope Paul VI did not accept it. Instead he raised the possibility of the appointment of an assistant bishop, and, as a token of his respect for the sick bishop, he appointed him to the Eastern Congregation, and later made him a member of the Papal Commission for the Revision of the Codex of Eastern Canon Law. In his last circular letter, promulgated on 21 June 1972, the bishop said farewell to his flock through the words of the Saint Liturgy, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and Father, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.” On 15 June, his third heart attack ended his life. The necrology contained his activities as bishop, which could be expressed in numbers. During thirty-three years, he consecrated 166 priests. Consequently, of the active priests in the year of his death a significant portion had received the priestly sacrament from him. Many of those serving as priests considered him as their model, and many still do today. He established thirty-one new parishes and built forty-four churches, chapels and places for celebrating Liturgy, or constructed them within existing buildings. Numbers, however, cannot express the sacrifices that he made for his Church. 
Bishop Dudás’ funeral in the Cathedral of Nyíregyháza on 21 July was held by Canon Imre Timkó, who was elected to be governing protosyncellus by the cathedral chapter and by the consultative senate of the Exarchat.  The Bishop of Székesfehérvár Imre Kisberk gave the funeral sermon. Virtually the entire  Conference of Bishops was present at the funeral. Bishop Miklós Dudás was laid to rest in the crypt of the Shrine Basilica of Máriapócs.