President Katalin Novák received Pope Francis with military honors in front of the presidential office, Sándor Palace, in the Castle District on Friday. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and House Speaker László Kövér were also in attendance.
According to MTI, the pontiff arrived in a Fiat 500X accompanied by three hussars of the Count Ferenc Nádasdy Hussar Regiment. The Pontifical Anthem and the National Anthem of Hungary were played, and an equestrian parade was held. President Novák and Pope Francis then introduced the members of their delegations to each other. The members of the Hungarian delegation are Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, House Speaker László Kövér, Constitutional Court head Tamás Sulyok, Supreme Court head András Varga Zs., Public Prosecutor Péter Polt, Deputy PM Zsolt Semjén, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, Culture and Innovation Minister János Csák, Regional Development Minister Tibor Navracsics and Eduard Habsburg-Lothringen, Hungary’s Ambassador to the Holy See. The papal delegation includes Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s chief diplomat, Péter Erdő, the Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Bishop András Veres, the head of the Conference of Hungarian Catholic Bishops, and Greek Catholic Metropolitan Fülöp Kocsis, among others. After the introductions, Francis and Novák proceeded into Sándor Palace where he wrote an entry in the guest book, and Novák presented him with his gifts. In the Carmelite Monastery housing the Prime Minister’s Office, the pope met representatives of the state, civilian life and the diplomatic corps. Following his meeting with President Novák, Pope Francis briefly greeted young people, and this was posted on the President’s official social media page. The video shows the Holy Father and the head of state together, with the pontiff saying in Spanish: “I greet young people!”