In Hungary trip, Pope Francis to confront refugee crisis, Ukraine war

by | Apr 27, 2023 | Religion

ROME (RNS) — Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Hungary will attempt to focus on common goals of the pope and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán — and their different approaches — regarding the challenges facing the world, especially the war in Ukraine.Speaking to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday (April 23), Francis previewed his trip this weekend as “an opportunity to embrace once again a church and a people so dear to me.”
“It will also be a journey to the center of Europe, over which the icy winds of war continue to blow, while the displacement of so many people puts urgent humanitarian questions on the agenda,” he said.
According to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 2.5 million Ukrainian refugees have crossed the border into Hungary since the beginning of Russia’s invasion in February 2022.
Although widely known and criticized for its staunch anti-immigration policies, Orbán’s government has pledged to aid Ukrainian refugees in the country. The Catholic Church in Hungary has also provided support, mobilizing aid efforts for displaced men, women and children.
In an interview with Vatican News published Wednesday, American Archbishop Michael Wallace Banach, the papal nuncio to Hungary, said the “spe …

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