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Pope Warns Hungary's Christian, Jewish Leaders of 'Lurking Threat of Anti-Semitism' in Europe

© REUTERS / REMO CASILLIPope Francis arrives to meet with representatives of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, Hungary, September 12, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Pope Francis arrives to meet with representatives of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, Hungary, September 12, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.09.2021
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Pope Francis arrived in Hungary, with just several hours in Budapest followed by a four-day Apostolic Visit to neighboring Slovakia after having been invited by both the civil authorities and bishops of both countries.
Pope Francis warned that "the threat of anti-semitism" is still manifest in Europe, as he made a lightning-swift visit to Hungary on Sunday, reported AP. The World Jewish Congress puts the Jewish population of Hungary at between 75,000 and 100,000, and states that most live in Budapest, which "has some 20 working synagogues and a plethora of other Jewish institutions".

"I think of the threat of anti-semitism still lurking in Europe and elsewhere. This is a fuse that must not be allowed to burn. And the best way to defuse it is to work together, positively, and to promote fraternity," the pontiff said when addressing gathered Christian and Jewish leaders.

The Argentine pope called for unity among Christians, Jews and people of other faiths “so that outbursts of hatred that would destroy that fraternity will never prevail.”
Pope Francis arrived in Hungary to celebrate the closing Mass of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress as part of his first foreign trip since undergoing intestinal surgery in July. The 84-year-old pontiff met with Prime Minister Viktor Orban, President Janos Ader, and deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen at the Museum of Fine Arts.
“Among the various topics discussed were the role of the church in the country, the commitment to the protection of the environment, the protection and promotion of the family,” said a Vatican statement.
“I asked Pope Francis not to let Christian Hungary perish,” Orban, known for his hard-line stance on migration, wrote later on Facebook.
Orban and his government are known to champion conservative family values, claiming to be motivated by a desire to safeguard Hungary's traditional Christian values against “excesses” of Western liberalism.
© Flickr / Mátyás VargaMatthias Church and Fishermen, Budapest, Hungary
Matthias Church and Fishermen, Budapest, Hungary - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.09.2021
Matthias Church and Fishermen, Budapest, Hungary
Under Orban, registered churches have received state support, with an additional 3,000 places of worship built or restored as part of an effort to advance “Christian democracy”.
The Pope who has denounced “the globalisation of indifference”, has been known to question the pursuit of anti-migrant policies and what he called “national populism”.
“… Our world is daily more and more elitist, more cruel towards the excluded,” said the pontiff, underlining the “moral imperative to welcome and give hospitality to migrants” as he celebrated Mass in St Peter’s Square on the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees on September 29 2019.
After his visit to Budapest, the pontiff proceeded to a four-day tour of neighbouring Slovakia, with his agenda featuring a meeting with the minority Roma community in an impoverished district of the country’s second-largest city of Kosice.
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