Pope Francis arrives in Hungary for visit

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Pope Francis has arrived in the Hungarian capital Budapest on his 34th international trip. The plane carrying the Vatican delegation and 78 journalists landed in the Hungarian capital around 7:45 a.m. Sunday morning. The occasion for Francis’ visit is the closing Mass for the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress, which is meeting in Budapest. Representatives of the Catholic Church have gathered from all parts of the world.

Actually, the congress was already planned last year, but the organizers had postponed it because of the Corona pandemic. Thousands of people are expected to attend the mass on the famous Heroes’ Square. In the run-up, the right-wing conservative government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban had relaxed the Corona rules, so that participants do not need proof of vaccination against or recovery from Covid-19. A meeting with Orban, among others, is planned on the sidelines, and there was speculation in advance about whether it would take place at all. Especially on the subject of migration policy, Orban and the head of the church have different views.

It is rare for a pope to celebrate the closing Mass of a Eucharistic Congress. The purpose of these international meetings is to promote devotion to the Eucharist among the faithful. It is a central part of the Christian faith and goes back to Jesus’ Last Supper, in which, according to tradition, he gave bread and wine to his disciples with the words: “This is my body, this is my blood. In a figurative sense, the celebration of the Eucharist in worship is also understood as time that the faithful take for God.

  • source: APA/picture: pixabay.com
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