Monday, May 29, 2023

Meeting refugees, Pope preaches against “indifference” in Hungary

**Pope Francis, tireless defender of “_openness to others”, pleaded on Saturday “overcome the evils of indifferenceMigrant activists during a meeting with refugees on the second day of their visit to Hungary.

Some 600 refugees – mostly from Ukraine – and poor people gathered at the neo-gothic St Elizabeth’s Church, built in the late 19th century in the heart of the capital. One thousand devotees also participated in the program organized in the courtyard.

35,000 Ukrainians have applied for “temporary protection” status in Hungary

After hearing various testimonies, the Pope thanked the Hungarians, especially the religious congregations, for their hospitality towards Ukrainians, without mentioning other countries.

On the one hand, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government likes to praise the hospitality given to people who arrive from war-torn neighboring Ukraine, the central theme of this second papal visit to the central European country in less than two years. On the other hand, it has fenced off its borders, detaining refugees in now-closed “transit zones” and barring asylum applications from being filed at embassies abroad.

In a veiled allusion to this policy, the 86-year-old Argentine Jesuit, in fragile health, had set the tone as Friday arrived, warning against “Close“More Trend”in retreat,

Viktor Orban’s ambiguous position on the war in Ukraine

In front of the closed gates of the church, under a gray sky, a 43-year-old Ukrainian dancer, Elena I “to see the Pope who is the great keeper of the peace,

,We haven’t had any problems here but we want to come back soon and don’t want to be fit“, she told AFP.

Since February 2022, more than two million Ukrainians have set foot on Hungarian soil, but only 35,000 have “claimed” the status oftemporary security“According to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), established by the European Union (EU).

In fact, Viktor Orban’s ambiguous position regarding the conflict hardly encourages him to remain in Hungary.

By refusing to send arms to Kiev and maintaining close ties with the Kremlin, Viktor Orban is going against the current of policy displayed by the European Union and NATO.

A “liberal” pope visits a conservative country

In the afternoon, arrived by golf cart at the city’s largest indoor sports arena, greeted like rock stars by 11,000 young people gathered in a festive atmosphere. On stage, he was offered a Rubik’s Cube, a famous puzzle of Hungarian invention.

,We close in on ourselves too quickly and don’t help those who are running from conflict or simply helping those who need it mostsaid 22-year-old student Maria Varga.I wish more Hungarians who call themselves Christians follow the Pope’s teachings,

From migrants to LGBT+ rights, the Hungarian Catholic Church leads the defense »christian civilization“Branded by Mr Orban, often against the Pope’s more open attitude.

is francois”A liberal pope, everyone knows that, and Hungary is a very conservative country, but he is the head of our church and we respect himTamas Banhidi, 18, told AFP.

Earlier on Saturday, the pope spoke for about 20 minutes with Metropolitan Hilarion, the Russian Orthodox Church’s former head of external relations.

Reluctant to invade Ukraine, he was ousted by Patriarch Kirill, a close supporter of Vladimir Putin, as the conflict strained relations between Moscow’s church and the Holy See.

Despite persistent knee pain that has forced him to move around in a wheelchair, a month after his hospitalisation, the smiling Pope appeared in pretty good shape during his 41st international visit.

On Sunday morning, he will preside over an open-air gathering at 9:30 am (07:30 GMT) behind parliament, in the heart of the capital, where thousands of devotees are expected to turn up.

Bright Times News Desk
Bright Times News Desk
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