According to the news, the head of the Catholic Church – contradicting some earlier statements this week – meets PM Orbán Viktor and other members of the Hungarian government.
The National Catholic Register reported before that Pope Francis was not willing to meet the most influential politicians of Hungary.
It seems that the news spread by the National Catholic Register was not proper, and the Pope’s programme will actually include visiting the country’s leaders.
He is expected to arrive in Hungary on September 12 for the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress.
As telex quoted the official statement of the Hungarian Secretariat for the Catholic Conference of Bishops,
Pope Francis will pay a visit to President János Áder, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, members of the government and other high-ranked leaders of the Hungarian state.
The Secretariat that is also the organiser of the international congress writes:
“We are deeply saddened by the false information and mistaken rumours of the Holy Father’s plans visiting Hungary that have spread in the local and international media.”
The statement refers to rumours that arose in Poland saying that the head of the Catholic Church was refusing to meet PM Orbán and the Hungarian government due to the refugee politics and the approach of the government towards the international issue.
Right after the news reached Hungary on June 4, after the National Catholic Register issued their article, many colleagues of the Hungarian media having close ties to the government felt the need to express either their idea or their concern.
András Bencsik, editor in chief of the newspaper Demokrata, directly said that the Pope himself had the intention to humiliate Hungary with his behaviour that goes against Christian beliefs and Christianity.
Zsolt Bayer, who is very well known in Hungary for always harshly and loudly expressing his opinion, mostly in alignment with the government, also commented on the issue. He said on Tuesday that
“if the head of the Catholic Church does not wish to meet the leaders of the country, then he simply does not comply with his job description.”
He went on to say that one of his most important requirements is to meet those who are guilty or believed to be guilty and to treat them with the utmost inclusivity; the guiltier someone, the more open he needs to be. In case he denies this,
“We simply have to ask him not to come here.”
The Vatican will make the Pope’s official plans and the itinerary public in a matter of weeks.