The Many Lives of a Jesuit, Freemason, and Philanthropist
The life of Töhötöm Nagy (1908–1979), Jesuit, Mason, and secret service agent, offers fascinating insights into interwar Hungary, the Catholic Church and Vatican diplomacy, Freemasonry, and the activities of communist state security service.
As a young Jesuit Nagy was one of the leaders of a successful Catholic youth movement in interwar Hungary. After World War II he played an important role acting as an intermediary between the Vatican, the Red Army, and the Hungarian Catholic Church. After being sent to South America, he was attracted by liberation theology, but left the Society of Jesus, joined the Freemasons, and did social and philanthropic work in the slums of Buenos Aires. However, in the late 1960s he agreed to work for the Hungarian state security service in return for his repatriation. This latter period is reconstructed from the files of the Historical Archives of State Security in Budapest. Éva Petrás writes with empathy but with a sense of distance of the courage and restless energy of her subject. Her discussion of the limits of free choice and Nagy’s intense struggle to live a meaningful life make this biography breathtaking.
I. “Mother, Dreams Don’t Lie...”
II. Töhötöm Nagy and KALOT
III. Either Side of the Front
IV. “Rome! My One Earthly Love!”
V. “The Third Rome”
VI. South America – Another Life
VII. Töhötöm Nagy and Argentine Freemasonry
VIII. The Catholic Church, Freemasons, and Communists
IX. Modus Vivendi Revisited
X. Again in Action: The “Three-day Case” and “Infernal Solitaire”
XI. Disappearing Clues: Töhötöm Nagy and Hungarian Freemasonry
XII. “The Last Port of Call”
Sources and References