President Katalin Novák said Pope Francis will be bringing encouragement, hope and a "message of peace" when he visits Hungary this weekend.
The president told the German Catholic weekly Die Tagespost that it has been almost 30 years since the last pastoral visit by a pontiff to Hungary, adding she believed that Hungary had “made a great impression” on Pope Francis when he visited the country to celebrate the closing mass of the International Eucharistic Congress in 2021. The president said the pope’s visit was an honor not just for Catholics but all Hungarians. “We have been living in the immediate shadow of war for over a year,” Novák said, adding that all nations hoped for a peaceful, stable and secure world. “This is the message we need.” She said the pope could play a key role in bringing about peace talks in Ukraine. “He can speak directly to both parties involved in the conflict as well as their respective partners,” Novák said. “He is the one who can build bridges and break through the walls.” Hungarians condemn Russian aggression and stand by a sovereign Ukraine, but want peace, Novák said, welcoming that more and more politicians were recognising the urgent need for peace talks.