Pandemics and migration will have a serious impact on European Christian democracy in the coming decade, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told Croatian daily Glas koncila in an interview published on Thursday.
Regarding the International Eucharistic Congress which will be held in Hungary in September, Orbán said “protocol issues” had arisen in connection with the Pope’s visit “that… the anti-Christian and anti-Church forces took aim at”. Pope Francis will be received with respect and “Christian humility” in Hungary as the head of Vatican State and of the Catholic Church, he said.
The Hungarian government and the pontiff have disagreements on the issue of migration, Orbán said. “We are vehemently opposed to migration, while the Catholic Church has its own opinion,” which had given rise to reports that Pope Francis and Orban “don’t see eye to eye” and “did not want to meet”, he said.
Meanwhile, Orbán said Hungary’s “spirit” had seen a sea-change in the past three decades. “Life is more valuable but it does not yet fully receive the respect it is due,” he said.
“Hungary is a secular state looking for its way to God,” he said.
Hungary has a “strong, organised community of atheists, anti-clerics and liberals who have a strong media doing everything in their power to stymie the spread of Christian values,” Orbán said. At the same time, “Christian media and civil organisations are at least as strong if not stronger, and we hold the political positions,” he added.
Christianity is “not a matter of religion but of pre-determination,” Orbán said.
“A war of cultures and civilisations is under way. The war for Europe’s spirit and future is being waged here and now. We need prayer for Christian unity, because Christianity cannot be upheld in Europe without cooperation,” he said.
The great achievements of Christian civilisation will have to be upheld, he said.
On the subject of migration, he said that instead of motivating migrants to stay away from their homelands they should be helped to return as swiftly as possible, and this stance should be reflected in European policy, whether in terms of its military activities, economic intervention, stabilisation or fostering the creation of normal living conditions in the relevant regions.
Migration, he added, does not take place spontaneously, but is organised according to political and business interests, with the result that “Muslim masses are brought to the European continent”.
Countries that fail to protect themselves, he said, would be unrecognisable in 20 years’ time. “Swimming in multicultural currents involves losing everything that is important in life.”
Orbán said that whereas Hungary paid a high price for refusing to sign the Istanbul Convention or “supporting Cold War policy” — as well as for refusing to join the West in “kicking” the Russian President, for protecting the Christian family model or providing “room for LGBT madness” — much more would be lost by abandoning these principles.
Westerners, he insisted, were content to live in a post-national, post-Christian world and “want us to do the same”. But a counterbalance of regional cooperation was needed, he said, to protect national, Christian cultures.
Orbán said attacks against these values emanated from Brussels and were linked to American liberal political and economic forces.
The EU, he said, pro-forma comprised member states on an equal footing, but France and Germany “form an axis and enforce their own will”. “Sometimes this coincides with the interests of Central Europe; at others it conflicts with them.”
Central Europe needs the strength to pursue its own interests, he said. Central Europeans are for nation states because democracy “can only take place within a national framework”. “Western Europe prefers a Brussels-based empire,” Orbán added.