The Holy See has confirmed that Pope Francis will visit Hungary between April 28 and 30.
The Vatican said the three-day “apostolic journey”, the pontiff’s 41st visit abroad since he was elected in 2013, will include meetings with Hungary’s heads of state and government on Friday. According to the program of the visit published on katolikus.hu, Francis will also address state dignitaries in the prime minister’s offices in Buda Castle. He will meet bishops, priests, monks, seminarists and other religious officials in Budapest’s St Stephen’s Basilica on the same day. On Saturday, the pontiff is scheduled to meet young people in the Papp Laszlo Arena, people in need and refugees in a downtown church. He will celebrate mass in Kossuth Square on Sunday. Cardinal Péter Erdő, the Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, welcomed that the visit would take place in Budapest, adding “we will be happy to receive priests, congregations and pilgrims from Hungary and beyond the borders.” Hopefully, the meeting “will be an important step on the road we travel together towards Christ”, Erdő said. The Government Communications Center welcomed the announcement of the papal visit. “The Holy Father is an envoy of peace, which the peoples of central and eastern Europe are in great need of,” the center said in a statement. The government will provide all the assistance necessary for the preparations for state and religious programmes during the visit, the statement added.