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Pope Francis to visit Budapest in September

March 11th, 2021

A left-wing columnist believes the Pope plans to snub the Hungarian Prime Minister during his visit to Hungary.

Pope Francis announced on Monday that he would celebrate the closing mass of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest in September this year. He added that ‘it is not a visit to the country but only for the Mass’. He also said he might proceed to Bratislava, the Slovak capital on the same occasion. The only time Hungary has hosted the International Eucharistic Congress until now was in 1938.

In Népszava, Tamás Rónay interprets the remark that the Pope will only fly to Budapest to celebrate the closing mass of the Eucharistic Congress (expected on 12 September in Heroes Square) as an expression of his intention not to meet with the Hungarian Prime Minister. He recalls that for the past five years or more, the two men have expressed highly conflicting views on mass immigration from Asia and Africa, with the Pope often criticising those whom Rónay calls ‘populists who threaten Europe’s unity’. Pro-government pundits in Hungary, on the other hand, have frequently expressed strong criticism of the Pope. In a sarcastic closing remark, he regrets that the Pope does not intend to meet Mr Orbán, as at such a meeting ‘he might explain to him what it means to be a Christian’.

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