The head of the Hungarian Reformed Church, Zoltan Balog, would be the one to convince Hungarian President Katalin Novak to pardon a man convicted of complicity in covering up the sexual abuse of an orphanage director. children, writes the Hungarian press.

Katalin Novak, Viktor Orban and Zoltan Balog during the eventPhoto: ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP / Profimedia

Zoltan Balog, leader of the Hungarian Reformed Church, former minister, adviser to Novak, played an important role in the pardon case, several independent sources close to the government and the head of state’s office told Direkt36 and Telex.

A source close to the Hungarian president said that when the pardon scandal broke out, Novak’s colleagues and even Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s team asked Balog for an explanation. The bishop defended himself, saying that it was not his personal decision, but some people in the church leadership wanted the man to be pardoned.

Hungarian President Katalin Novak has resigned amid calls from opposition parties to resign over her decision to pardon a man convicted of covering up the sexual abuse of an orphanage director.

The former deputy director of the dormitory, whom he pardoned, was sentenced to more than 3 years in prison and banned for 5 years from working with youth under the age of 18 for being an assistant to the director of the dormitory in forcing some boys to drop charges.

The former director was sentenced to eight years in prison for sexually abusing underage boys from 2004 to 2016.

This sparked a wave of protests against Novak, who is a close ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his former family minister.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced on Thursday that he would amend the Constitution to rule out the possibility of pardoning pedophiles following the controversy sparked by Novak.

Hungary’s first female president has resigned after less than two years in office

In March 2022, she became the first woman to hold this ceremonial post in Hungary.

In 2014-2020, Novak was the state secretary of the Ministry of Family and Youth Affairs, and in 2020-2021, the minister without portfolio of the same ministry. From 2017 to 2021, she was one of the vice-presidents of the Fidesz party, and from 2018 – a member of parliament.

She studied economics, law and public administration in Hungary and France, lived in the USA, France and Germany and speaks English, French, German and Spanish.