László Paskai

His Eminence

László Paskai

Cardinal, Archbishop Emeritus of Esztergom-Budapest
Esztergom - Paskai László.JPG
Archdiocese Esztergom-Budapest
Installed 3 March 1987
Term ended 7 December 2002
Predecessor László Lékai
Successor Péter Erdő
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of S. Teresa al Corso d’Italia
Ordination 3 March 1951
Created cardinal 28 June 1988
Rank Archbishop Emeritus of Esztergom-Budapest
Personal details
Born (1927-05-08)8 May 1927
Szeged, Hungary
Died 17 August 2015(2015-08-17) (aged 88)
Esztergom, Hungary
Nationality Hungarian
Denomination Catholic
Signature László Paskai's signature
Coat of arms László Paskai's coat of arms

László Paskai, O.F.M. (8 May 1927 – 17 August 2015) was a Hungarian cardinal of the Roman 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.

Early life

László Paskai was born to Jewish parents who had converted to the Roman Catholic faith before the birth of their son and who later died during the Holocaust.[1]

Clerical career

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]