Consistory of the Transylvanian
announces with deep sorrow the decease of its retired leader, Rev. Dr. Árpád Szabó, the 30th
bishop of the Transylvanian
who passed away on 30 September 2010, at the age of 76, following a year of
hard illness endured with dignity and good faith.
lifetime he worked to promote the fulfilment of the centuries-old, historic
mission of the Unitarian church, and served its needs with devoted enthusiasm,
at convenient and inconvenient times. "Ye are the light of the world. A city
set on a hill cannot be hid!” he preached the gospel of Jesus: the experience
of God’s provident love, the responsible vocation of the Christian people, and
the preserving power of a religious community.
born in 1935 in an ancient Unitarian village along the valley of the Homoród,
and he studied in Városfalva, Székelykeresztúr and Kolozsvár, where he obtained
his ministerial degree between 1953-1957. He started his career in the church
as a secretary to the bishop between 1958-1965, later as the minister of the
downtown Kolozsvár congregation between 1965-1976. In 1974 he became the
professor of Unitarian biblical theology at the Protestant Theological
Institute, and in 1977-1978, the scholarship holder of the Meadville Lombard
in Chicago. In
1996 the Synod elected him as the 30th bishop of the church,
reinforcing his title in 2002. He retired in 2008, after half of a century of
part of his service passed in a period of great tribulations in church history,
while the second part fell in times of opened perspectives. He fulfilled his
mission with responsibility and commitment in both periods. As a minister, he
called the attention of his parishioners upon the providing care of God and His
power to preserve the community. As a teacher, he worked for the aim of passing
on his knowledge in theological science and the vocation of ministry to the
young generations. As a bishop, he sought to find orientation among newly
appearing opportunities, and urged the spiritual and financial strengthening of
the church. His attention was also extended on intellectual needs: by his own
example, he encouraged the pursuance of theological sciences and literature,
and the editing of church periodicals. The restarting of the denominational
schools and their development into quality educational institutions, the
strengthening of the church institutions, the constructions of new church
buildings, and the promotion of international relations are all good evidence for
his devoted, conscious, responsible service.
service will take place on Monday, the 4th of October 2010, at the
Unitarian church of downtown Kolozsvár, from where he will be accompanied to
the cemetery of Házsongárd.
memory be blessed!
30 September 2010. The Consistory of the Transylvanian Unitarian