Letter #57, 2023 Fri Feb 24: Francis in Hungary?
The article below reports that, according to not yet validated Vatican sources, a papal trip to Hungary is “in the cards” for late April.
That would bring Pope Francis into one of the key “hinge countries” in Europe right now, the Hungary of Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
It would also enable Francis, to meet with Cardinal Peter Erdo, the leading Catholic authority of Hungary, and, perhaps, to meet with demoted Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, who was moved from Moscow to Budapest (where there are four small Russian Orthodox parishes) in the spring of 2022.
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Pope Francis in Hungary at the end of April (link)
Published February 23, 2023
(RC, edited by the “Il Sismografo” editorial staff)
In Hungary, some media have confirmed in these hours the rumors of the last few days about a visit by Pope Francis to the Magyar nation in spring and which Vatican sources have considered plausible for the end of April.
It would be Francis’ second visit to Hungary as Pope after the one on the occasion of the closing of the 52nd Eucharistic Congress in 2021.
During the three- or four-day visit to Budapest and other cities, the Holy Father will meet Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and President Katalin Novák, members of the diplomatic corps, as well as representatives of Christian churches and other religious communities.
According to the press, a strong theme of the papal visit will be young people, even though World Youth Day will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, from 1 to 6 August next.
The program of the papal visit is not yet definitive even if the country has already been visited in recent days by a Vatican team to carry out the first site inspections.
For now, according to unconfirmed rumors, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in St. Stephen’s Basilica (Budapest), visit a Marian shrine and visit the city of Szeged.
The Pontiff should also visit the famous Pannonhalma Archabbey founded in 996 and seat of the Hungarian Congregation of the Order of St. Benedict, as well as one of the oldest historical monuments in the whole country. Inside is a theological university named after San Gerardo Sagredo.
Pope Francis has already met Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and also the last two Presidents of the Republic as well as other important state authorities several times in Hungary and in the Vatican.
Francis has responded positively to the invitation which is only now taking shape with a possible date and with the creation of the team that will have to deal with the organisation.
On the state side, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén is responsible for the papal visit which the government has declared an “event of particular importance”.
For the occasion, the Operational Team has already been set up, led by Zoltán Kovács, Secretary of State responsible for communications and international relations.
This will also enable preparations to be made for the trips of Pope Francis to Europe in the coming months. At the center “the small countries.” The wheelchair is not an obstacle (February 16, 2023) (LB, RC — edited by “Il seismografo”) (link)