Pope Francis (l) and Katalin Novak - Photo: MTI

President Novak receives Pope Francis

President Katalin Novak received Pope Francis with military honours in front of the presidential office, Sandor Palace, in the Castle District on Friday. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and House Speaker Laszlo Kover attended.

The pontiff arrived in a Fiat 500X accompanied by three hussars of the count Ferenc Nadasdy Hussar Regiment.

The Pontifical Anthem and the National Anthem of Hungary were played, and an equestrian parade was held.

President Novak and Pope Francis then introduced the members of their delegations to each other.

The members of the Hungarian delegation are Prime Minister Viktor Orban, House Speaker Laszlo Kover, Constitutional Court head Tamas Sulyok, Supreme Court head Andras Varga Zs., Public Prosecutor Peter Polt, Deputy PM Zsolt Semjen, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, Culture and Innovation Minister Janos Csak, Regional Development Minister Tibor Navracsics and Eduard Habsburg-Lothringen, Hungary’s Ambassador to the Holy See.

The papal delegation includes Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s chief diplomat, Peter Erdo, the Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Bishop Andras Veres, the head of the Conference of Hungarian Catholic Bishops, and Greek Catholic Metropolitan Fulop Kocsis, among others.

After the introductions, Francis and Novak proceeded into Sandor Palace where he wrote an entry in the guest book, and Novak presented him with his gifts. In the Carmelite Monastery housing the Prime Minister’s Office, the pope met representatives of the state, civilian life and the diplomatic corps.

Following his meeting with President Novak, Pope Francis briefly greeted young people, and this was posted on the President’s official social media page. The video shows the Holy Father and the head of state together, with the pontiff saying in Spanish: “I greet young people!”

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