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Pope Francis visiting Hungary

April 29th, 2023

Commentators across the political spectrum equally welcome the Pope’s visit to Budapest, although with different emphasis.

In Népszava, Tamás Rónay quotes earlier articles by the left-wing daily to prove that its columnists have always appreciated the positions expressed by Pope Francis including his reforms or his support for migrants or again his struggle against the conservatives of his own church. By contrast, he writes, right-wing Hungarian commentators have regularly expressed disparaging views about Francis, but since he made his decision to visit Hungary public, they suddenly started eulogizing him. Rónay suggests that those commentators have changed their minds because they interpret the papal visit as a gesture of political support.

In Magyar Nemzet, Levente Sitkei carefully refrains from making political remarks and confines himself to welcoming the Pope and hoping that his visit will help boost social morale. Hungary is still a Christian country, he writes, although the number of churchgoers is decreasing. Nevertheless, Sitkei continues, there is still a strong sense of community among Hungarians and during his three-day visit, Pope Francis will personally experience the openness of ordinary Hungarians to the message of peace and fraternity that he represents.