During this year’s Easter celebrations, Cardinal Péter Erdő, the head of the Hungarian Catholic Church, said those that are in peace with God, should make a sacrifice for peace with other people.
“Making peace requires sacrifices … but peace and harmony yield more benefits than what we give up through restricting our unbridled ambitions,” Cardinal Erdő told MTI. Regarding the war in Ukraine, Cardinal Erdő said Hungarians had “felt and understood what they had to do: help those in the greatest need and those fleeing their country as much as possible and as it suits them most”. Answering a question as to whether the Vatican could help resolve the conflict, the cardinal said the Holy See had played an important role in the settlement between Argentina and Chile in the 1970s. He also mentioned Pope Francis’s mediation which helped avoid a US attack on Syria over the latter country’s alleged resort to chemical weapons, in 2013. The Vatican “represents the opinion and wishes of many, which gives its actions so much strength that could bring the warring parties closer to each other,” he said. On the subject of the pontiff’s upcoming visit to Hungary, Cardinal Erdő said its program, including meeting the poor, refugees, the homeless, and sick children, reflects that Pope Francis “is in community with those suffering and children with multiple sicknesses are especially close to his heart”. The cardinal said the pontiff visiting Hungary was “a sign of appreciation for the Hungarian people”. While Pope Francis has already visited Slovakia and Romania, his upcoming visit “will show that he loves these peoples equally,” Cardinal Erdő said.