Religion

Members of family Ortutay are traditionally Catholic. While the “poor” branch from Kárpátalja is Greek Catholic, people in the “rich” branch from Arad are Roman Catholic.
Greek Catholic Churches were founded as a results of reconciliation steps between the papal Catholicism and eastern orthodox Christianity. As known, there is a schism between the eastern and western Christians. The causes are more political than religious, and the situation has led to mutual anathema in 1054. Since then there were many attempts to solve the situation, among of them in 1646 in Munkács 63 orthodox priests accepted the papal principality, and it was the foundation of Hungarian Greek Catholic Church. Greek Catholics are formally accept the Pope but they practice eastern liturgy usually in Slovak, Ukrainian (Rusin), Romanian or Hungarian languages. In the territory of old Hungary they had own bishop and they had equal rights as Roman Catholics. After the dissection of old Hungary after the Wold War I, and II parts of Hungarian Greek Catholic Church working independently in Slovakia, Ukraine (Eparchy of Munkachevo), Romania, and Hungary. The view of these Churches are different from eastern and western sides of the cultural border between the Catholic and Orthodox world in Central Europe, therefore they are frequently targets of political or cultural oppression even nowdays.
Our resources do not completely agree on the original religion of our family. According to the family legendary, the family was Roman Catholic, and there was a tradition that the first son was going to be priest, “ad maiorem Dei gloriam”. Once upon a time there was a son, who didn't want to abdicate to marry a girl, therefore he become Greek Catholic to both marry and be a priest. The family didn't like the idea, so the young man were disinherited. It become a court case, according to the legendary during the Rákóczy independence uprising (1703-1711). Tivadar Ortutay has reported, that he has seen the court papers in the archives in Eperjes (Presov, Slovakia).
The confiscated man was the founder of the “poor” branch from Kárpátalja. They are Greek Catholic, and until recently in every generations there were priests among them like the martyr Jenő Ortutay, or his son Elemér, who worked underground during the soviet times of Ukraine.
After annex of Kárpátalja by the USSR (1945) there was a huge pressure on Greek Catholic priests there. They were persona non grata, mainly because they were Hungarians or faithful to old Hungary or the Ruthens. So Greek Catholicism were banned, the members and its properties were transported to the Orthodox Church. The priests were forced to convert, those who not were transported to the Gulag or exterminated in a different way. We know, that one priest László Ortutay has converted in 1949, while Jenő and Elemér didn't. All the three got misery as reward.
The “rich” branch from Arad was Roman Catholic, as far as we can find documents. The only exception is that the founding member was an abbot of Tinnini which would exclude a family. So according to these it is hard to judge which branch has kept the original religion of the family.

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