Pope Francis celebrating the closing mass of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest – Photo: MTI

Hungarian bishop: Pope now sees ‘he was misled’ about Hungary

Pope Francis now sees that in many ways he was misled about Hungary, Laszlo Kiss-Rigo, the bishop of Szeged-Csanad, said in a podcast on Saturday. Talking to Zoltan Kovacs in The Bold Truth About Hungary podcast, the state secretary for international relations and communications, the bishop said the pope was returning the Hungary to visit its Christians and Catholics.

This, he added, was encouraging to Hungarian Christians representing and protecting Christian values, which, he added, were also European values.

Kovacs noted that Hungary had drawn criticism for talking about Christianity and stating that European values were based on Christian values and foundations.

The European Union’s founders also insisted that Europe’s very existence owed itself to Christianity, he added.

The bishop said that people in western Europe, proud of having attained the highest level of democracy, had turned their societies into “nihilistic dictatorship”, and abandoned common sense.

Kovacs said the pope’s visit from April 28 to 30 would present an opportunity to reflect on elements of the worldview of the Catholic Church and its head.

The pontiff will meet the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, high-ranking Hungarian state officials and representatives of the Hungarian Catholic Church and other churches in Hungary, before visiting various institutions caring for the poor, refugees and members of Hungarian minorities. After Sunday’s papal mass, Francis will visit Pazmany Peter Catholic University.

Referring to the synod of October 2021 which discussed how to adapt the church to the 21st century, the bishop said the church must always renew itself, and this process that Pope Francis launched allowed the free expression of opinions. But, he added, this did not mean the teachings of the Church could change regarding its most fundamental tenets, which were “given by Jesus”.

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