Visit to Hungary: Pope Francis meets Prime Minister Orban

Status: 12.09.2021 11:31 a.m.

In the run-up to his visit to Hungary, it was not yet clear whether Pope Francis would be received by Prime Minister Orban. According to the Vatican, the two spoke, among other things, on the subject of environmental protection.

Pope Francis has arrived in Hungary. Prime Minister Victor Orban greeted the Pope at the Budapest Art Museum. President Janos Ader also attended a subsequent discussion. Afterwards, Francis attended a meeting with bishops and representatives of the Jewish community.

The date was eagerly awaited because the Pope and the conservative head of government take opposing positions on the issue of migration. Francis repeatedly calls for help for refugees. Hungary, on the other hand, has an anti-migration policy. According to the Vatican, the conversation was about the role of the Church in Hungary and environmental protection.

Francis had recently said in a radio interview that he did not know whether a meeting with Orban would even be possible. Such encounters are actually common on trips abroad by the head of the Catholic Church. Italian media had reported voices from the Vatican that the Pope would have preferred to avoid the Hungarian Prime Minister entirely.

“You have to look for similarities with a magnifying glass”, Rüdiger Kronthaler, ARD Rome currently Budapest, on the meeting between the Pope and Orbán

tagesschau24 11:00 a.m., 9/12/2021 11:16 a.m.

Pope Francis calls for the fight against anti-Semitism

At the subsequent meeting with representatives of other Christian churches and Judaism, Pope Francis called for the fight against anti-Semitism. This is “a fuse that has to be extinguished”. The “God of the Covenant”, to whom Christians and Jews refer with the Bible, “does not want alliances with one at the expense of the other, but rather people and communities that are bridges of communion with all”.

It is up to those responsible for the majority religions “to create the conditions in this country so that religious freedom is respected and promoted for everyone”.

According to the Vatican, Hungary is only a stopover and not a state visit for the Pope. Francis wanted to travel on to Slovakia today, where he was to stay for four days. The trip is the first since the Pope underwent serious bowel surgery in early July.

Papal trip to Hungary / Slovakia – World Congress in Budapest, meeting with Orban

Oliver Soos, ARD Vienna, September 12th, 2021 6:50 am

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