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In Budapest, the Pope met with Viktor Orban behind closed doors


Pope Francis arrived in Budapest this Sunday morning for a whirlwind visit dedicated to the celebration of a mass closing a major international religious congress, but all eyes were on his brief meeting with sovereignist leader Viktor Orban. It was held in camera. President Janos Ader and two of the most senior officials of the Roman Curia were also present.

Known for his outspokenness, has François tackled subjects close to his heart such as the issue of migrants and tolerance towards LGBT + people, real stumbling blocks with Viktor Orban? Because the reception of refugees of all religions, knocking on the doors of richer countries, fleeing wars or economic misery, has been the subject of incessant appeals from the Argentine Pope, sometimes earning him incomprehension in the ranks of Catholics. .

During this visit to the Hungarian capital, before taking the direction of Slovakia, the pope spoke of “the threat of anti-Semitism which still circulates in Europe and elsewhere”, considering that it was a “fuse which must be extinguished ”, during a meeting with representatives of Christian denominations and Hungarian Jewish communities. “The best way to defuse it is to work together in a positive way, to promote brotherhood,” he added.

“Not here for politics”

The pro-Orban media have gone so far as to call François “an imbecile”. And they did not fail to note the pope’s flash visit of seven hours, while he will then devote three days to neighboring Slovakia for a real state visit. “He wants to humiliate Hungary! », Indignant a television commentator.

Francis actually came to Budapest at the specific invitation of the International Eucharistic Congress, in the footsteps of John Paul II who attended the event in 1985 in Nairobi (Kenya). Far from controversy, groups of pilgrims from all over the country began to flock in the early morning to the huge Heroes Square where the Sovereign Pontiff is to celebrate Mass at 11:30 am, under a great blue sky.

“We are not here for politics, but to see and listen to the Pope, the head of the Church. We can’t wait to see him, it’s wonderful that he’s in Budapest! », Confided Eva Mandoki, 82, who lives about a hundred kilometers from Budapest. She would not have missed this visit for the world, she who was already there for the arrival of John Paul II in 1996, the last papal visit to Hungary.

Some 75,000 people are expected to attend mass, while others will be able to follow the event on large screens. In the city, controlled by the opposition, posters “welcome” François, extolling his calls for solidarity and tolerance towards minorities. Viktor Orban, of Calvinist origins but whose wife is Catholic, has planned to attend.

“We are all migrants! “

Jorge Bergoglio, himself from a family of Italian emigrants who came to Argentina, never ceases to remind old Europe of its past built by waves of new arrivals. And without ever singling out political leaders by name, he castigates “sovereignty”, according to him declining “speeches that resemble those of Hitler in 1934” on foreigners. To his opponents, the Pope retorts that aid to the excluded is eminently Christian.

In April 2016, the Pope had particularly marked the spirits on the Greek island of Lesbos, gateway to Europe. “We are all migrants! He said, bringing on board his plane three Syrian Muslim families whose homes had been bombed. Meanwhile, the Hungarian leader had a wall erected on the southern border to prevent the arrival of “Muslims”.




letelegramme Fr Trans