Pope Francis meets PM Viktor Orban

Budapest, Sep 12 (EFE).- Pope Francis Sunday held a 40-minute meeting with Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban and president Janos Ader during a short visit to the eastern European nation.

They discussed the role of the Church in the country and environmental protection, among other topics, during the meeting that was held behind closed doors at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest.

Francis and Orban have opposing views when it comes to migration: the pontiff has always called for welcoming migrants and refugees while Orban is known for his hardline stance against irregular arrivals entering the European Union, many of whom travel through Hungary to reach countries further west.

Francis arrived in Hungary early Sunday for a short visit to celebrate the closing Mass of the International Eucharistic Congress.

“My wish is that you may be like this: solid and open, rooted and respectful,” he told some 100,000 people who attended the event at Heroes’ Square in Budapest.

“The ‘Mission Cross’ is the symbol of this International Eucharistic Congress: may it lead you to proclaim with your lives the liberating Gospel of God’s boundless love for each person. Amid the present-day famine of love, men and women long for this nourishment,” he added.

During his brief trip, which he described as spiritual, the pontiff met Hungarian bishops, as well as representatives of the Ecumenical Council of Churches and some Jewish communities there.

Francis, 84, will head to Slovakia later on Sunday after his program in Hungary ends.

Francis’ four-day tour of central and eastern Europe is the first after his colon operation in July. EFE


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