After several unsuccessful attempts to meet Cardinal Péter Erdő, the head of the Hungarian Catholic Church, the three victims tried to ask for an opportunity to meet Pope Francis in Budapest, but the organisers of the International Eucharistic Congress and the Vatican Embassy in Hungary refused to help them.
Over the last few decades, cases of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests began to receive more and more media and public attention in the world and in Hungary alike. Nonetheless, these cases remained hidden behind the “walls of denial” in Hungary as local church leaders chose to avoid dealing with this problem. Although numerous victims tried to come forward with their allegations of abuse, the victims’ stories about their experiences remained untold until February this year, when
Attila Pető decided to break the silence.
The man has tried to reach the Archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest on several occasions to call for an investigation, reports 444. The priest in question was suspended from service after the investigation revealed that Attila Pető was not his only victim.
After Pope Francis had announced that he would visit Budapest in September 2021 to participate in the closing Mass of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress, Attila Pető and two other victims reached out to the Vatican Embassy in Hungary to organise a meeting with the Pope.
Attila Pető explained that they have tried to meet Cardinal Péter Erdő, the head of the Hungarian Catholic Church, to discuss their experiences and concerns, but they were never given an appointment.
The head of the Catholic Church met sexual abuse victims several times; for example, the Papal Legate met the survivors of abuse at the International Eucharistic Congress 2012.
The Apostolic Nunciature of Holy See in Budapest replied that they had no authority to organise papal visits
and that the Pope’s visit would focus solely on the closing Mass of the Eucharistic Congress, writes Hvg. As far as the organisers of the Eucharistic Congress are concerned, Attila Pető and the other victims did not even consider trying to contact them since
László Süllei, one of the organisers, reported Attila Pető for harassment in 2019 after the man tried to reach out to him via e-mail and phone.
Source: 444.hu, hvg.hu