Pope Francis arrived in Budapest on Sunday for a massive celebration, focusing on his meeting with anti-Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
There will be a half-hour meeting with the head of the 1.3 billion Catholics. Orban – With Hungarian President Janos Adar – At the Grand Arts Museum in Budapest, a strange short meeting can take place.
But according to the pope, the views of Christians in particular are often understood among the faithful, especially in the ranks of traditional Catholics.
In the last few years, the love affair between Orban’s supporters and the Catholic world leader in Hungary has not ended.
Orban’s pro-refugee media and political figures called him “anti-Christian” and “Soros Pope” for his pro-refugee sentiments, citing Hungarian-born Liberal American billionaire George Soros. Wing Black Best
According to an AFP reporter, the pope’s plane landed at 7.45am local time (0545 GMT).
Pontiff’s whirlwind visit to close the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress has raised eyebrows.
“Pope Francis wants to humiliate Hungary in just a few hours,” said a pro-Orban television pundit.
Born into a family of Italian immigrants in Argentina, Jorge Bergoglio, the pope regularly reminds the “old Europe” of his past, built on the waves of new arrivals.
And without ever naming political leaders, he denounces the “sovereign” who turns his back on refugees, calling them “similarities to Hitler’s speeches in 1934”.
In April 2016, the Pope said, “We are all refugees!” On the Greek island of Lesbos, the gateway to Europe, the plane brought three Syrian Muslim families whose homes had been bombed.
In contrast, Orban’s signature. Crusade against migration These include border fences and concentration camps for asylum seekers and provoke growing anger in Brussels.
Proponents of Orban point to the Hungarian Help, a government-run aid agency that works to rebuild churches and schools in war-torn Syria and sends doctors to Africa.
“The majority of Hungarians say the same thing: we should not bring the problem to Europe, but help it where the problem is,” said Father Cornell Fabry, secretary general of the Congress.
However, Orban’s critics accuse him of using Christianity as a shield to shield him from criticism and as a sword to target opponents. Weak minorities Like refugees
A few days before the pope’s arrival, posters hung on the streets of the Hungarian capital – where the city council is controlled by the anti-Urban opposition – read “Budapest welcomes the Holy Father” and excerpts, including appeals for solidarity and tolerance with minorities. Show up
During the pope’s seven-hour stay in Budapest, he will meet with the country’s bishops and representatives of various Christian parties, as well as leaders of the 100,000 Hungarian Jewish community, the largest in Central Europe.
After his inauguration, he will hold an open-air celebration in the capital’s vast Heroes Square. Orban – who comes from a Calist Protestant background – and his wife – who is Catholic – are to attend.
About 75,000 people have registered to attend the gathering, with screens and loudspeakers lined up near the main square of the main boulevard to allow others to follow the event.
Budapest was visited at the invitation of Congress, and follows in the footsteps of John Paul II, who also attended a ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya in 1985.
This is the first papal visit to Hungary since Pope John Paul II in 1996.
“It is an honor to receive the Holy Father, but the organizers have asked us to take care of the Pope, who is no longer young,” Father Fabry said.
The 84-year-old Pontiff’s 34th foreign trip comes two months after a colon operation that required a general anesthetic and a 10-day recovery from the hospital.