On Sunday, Pope Francis visited the Hungarian capital, Budapest. The head of the Catholic Church arrived in Hungary on a short visit, during which he also met with the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban. Both views on migration and helping people seeking asylum and war and poverty differ sharply. Therefore, this conversation received increased attention.
Orban calls on Pope Francis to “prevent Christian Hungary from being lost”Artyom Konohov
Although the Hungarian Prime Minister, Orban, has declared himself a defender of Christian Europe, he and the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, differ significantly on a number of important issues. The main one is migration.
The Pope has repeatedly urged Christians to lend a helping hand to those fleeing war, persecution and poverty. Orban, on the other hand, claims that migrants threaten European Christian values and culture.
The meeting between the Hungarian Prime Minister and the Pope was short. It took place at the magnificent Art Museum in Budapest, and the President of Hungary, Janos Áders, also took part in the conversation. After the meeting, Orban said on his Facebook page that he had called on the pope to “not let Christian Hungary go to waste.”
The Vatican, on the other hand, described the two meetings as friendly in an official statement. During the meeting, the role of the church in the country, environmental protection issues, as well as protection and support of families were discussed.
Later, addressing the faithful at the Holy Mass in Heroes’ Square in Budapest, Francis urged the audience to be open. He called to keep his roots and at the same time be understanding.
The Pope’s approach, which he himself considers to be truly Christian, is not always on the minds of conservative Catholics. Francis has also been sharply criticized in recent years in the media supporting the Hungarian government. Some commentators have even called him the “Antichrist” and the “Pope of Soros.” It is a reference to George Soros, an American billionaire of Hungarian descent, who is blamed in many cases by the Hungarian authorities.
Many also do not mind that the head of the Catholic Church has spent only seven hours in Hungary. By contrast, in neighboring Slovakia, which has a smaller population than Hungary, Francis will be on an official visit for more than two days.
Discussions were also prompted by a poster from the Budapest city administration greeting the Pope, which quoted various statements by Francis, including solidarity and tolerance towards various minorities. There are currently parties in power in the city of Budapest that do not support Orbán’s chosen course.
Francis also addressed leaders of Christian and Jewish religious communities in Hungary, urging them to fight growing anti-Semitism together. There are about 100,000 Jews living in Hungary, one of the largest communities in Central Europe.
However, many gathered in Heroes’ Square did not want to get involved in politics and simply expressed their joy that the head of the Catholic Church had arrived in Hungary on a visit.
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