Pope Francis to Offer ‘Glimmer of Hope’ in Hungary Amid Ukraine War

by Joshua Brown
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Pope Francis is going to Hungary for three days starting Friday. During his trip, he will try to explain what he hopes for the future of Europe. Russia’s fight in Ukraine, people migrating from different countries, and Hungary’s bad relationship with Brussels will affect the Pope’s visit.

The Pope is visiting Hungary to show support to the Catholic community and encourage them in their faith. His visit takes place while there’s a war happening close-by and Hungary is having issues with other EU nations on topics like LGBTQ+ rights and following the laws. So, the Pope’s words and actions have an even bigger impact due to the political situation going on around him.

Francis has just arrived in Budapest, Hungary and he’s got a busy few days ahead! During his time there, he will meet with President Katalin Novak and Prime Minister Viktor Orban before giving an important political speech to the Hungarian officials. On the final day of his trip, he will make a speech to the students and faculty at Budapest’s Catholic University. He’ll be talking about things that are important not only to Hungary but also Europe as a whole.

Pope Francis will meet with some of the 35,000 Ukrainian refugees who have not been able to leave Hungary since 2.5 million others had to flee across Ukraine’s border when Russia invaded. It will be an opportunity for Pope Francis to talk about immigration and express his opinion that European countries should help out people in need, both those who are poor and those running away from conflict areas.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is known for not allowing many migrants to enter his country. In 2015-2016, Hungary even built a fence between themselves and Serbia in order to stop people from entering. Surprisingly, Pope Francis praised Hungary when they allowed some Ukrainian refugees inside their borders. After arriving at the heart of Europe, the Vatican spokesman revealed that Pope Francis wants to look ahead for the future of Europe.

Bruni said that when Francis went on this trip, he wanted to remind people about Europe and the importance of peace. Although lots of people used to be really into Europe in the past, their enthusiasm has faded over time. So, Francis wants to bring back everyone’s passion for Europe and its responsibility for maintaining global peace.

Pope Francis, who is 86 years old, is going on a visit which could be tough for him because he was very sick with bronchitis last month and had to stay in the hospital for four days. The Hungarian government wanted the Pope to visit different cities, but the Vatican has made a plan that he will spend seven hours in Budapest and then end a church event there.

The European Union wants Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban to provide more rights for LGBTQ+ people, because they’re concerned he is slowly weakening democracy. So the biggest groups in the EU are asking the government to not give money from a pandemic recovery fund until these issues with democracy are fixed.

The European Commission has been saying that Prime Minister Orban is taking away the freedom of people, controlling what can be seen in the news, and not giving enough rights to certain groups. However, Orban has said this isn’t true.

The government of Hungary made it illegal for same-sex marriage and adoption in 2011. They also forbid showing stuff about gay people or different gender identities to anyone under 18 in media content.

Catholic beliefs don’t support same-sex marriages, but the Pope (Francis) encourages people in same-sex unions to get legal protection. The Pope takes care of gay and transgender people who practice Catholicism, at the same time condemning “gender ideology” as Western countries invading other nations’ cultures.

The President of Hungary has changed the prison sentences of several people from a very right wing Hungarian group, who did terrorist activities and bothered members of the LGBTQ+ community, timed around when the Pope visited.

Novak said that the visit of Francis is special because it gives him the chance to forgive people. She was specifically talking about people who are part of Hunnia Movement group – a group with anti-EU wants and beliefs and they are known for throwing Molotov cocktails at Socialist government official’s houses in between 2007 and 2009.

Pope Francis will not give an opinion about Hungary’s democracy or rights for its LGBTQ+ population, but instead talk about the ideas that Europe had when it first formed as a union. On the other hand, Hungary’s ambassador to the Holy See (a religious leader), Eduard Habsburg, believes his country is doing better than other EU members in terms of being committed to those original European ideals.

Habsburg said that Hungary has kept to their traditional loose ties they have with Europe, which is in the family, faith and Christian roots. He believes some of these values may have faded away in the Western regions of Europe.

Pope Francis is going to visit Ukraine, close to the Russian border, because of the war there. Before he goes, he met with their Prime Minister at the Vatican. He will be visiting a church that helped give aid to refugees in Ukraine. The Pope wants everyone involved in the war to find peace and wants to show his support for the people of Ukraine.

Orban has asked people to stop fighting, but he isn’t doing much to help Ukraine. He won’t give them weapons and won’t let the European Union put sanctions on Moscow even though Hungary relies a lot on Russian energy.

When the Pope, Francis, was in Budapest there were talks that he and the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill would meet up. But according to the Rev. Csaba Torok, these plans for a meeting won’t happen because of Kirill’s support for Russia’s invasion. Back in 2016, Francis had already met with Kirill but since then, any other plans have been put off indefinitely.

The Associated Press is getting help to report on religion topics from The Conversation US, and they got some money for the coverage from Lilly Endowment Inc. It’s all their responsibility. To follow their coverage of the war between Russia and Ukraine, go to the link below: https://bigbignews.net/russia-ukraine

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