Orban gives Pope a loaded gift during a visit to Hungary

Orban, a self-proclaimed defender of Christian values, has been rolled back civil liberties ranging from migrants and LGBTQ+ rights to media freedom, and worked to erode judicial and academic independence in Hungary.

Pope’s comments seemed to criticize some of this policy, met the emphasis on the need for tolerance.

“This is what I wish for you: that the cross is your bridge between the past and the future. Religious sentiment has been the lifeblood of this nation, so attached to its roots. But the cross, planted in the ground, not only invites us be well rooted, it is also raises his arms and extends his arms to everyone,” Francis said during his address as he presided over the closing mass of the International Eucharistic Congress.

“Mine wish Is that you? like that: grounded and open, rooted and thoughtful,” he added.

Francis arrives in    his Popemobile to celebrate Mass for the closing of the International Eucharistic Congress on Heroes' Square in Budapest.

Orban’s personal gift to the Pope, however, seemed to underline his nationalist and anti-immigrant stance: a copy of a 13th century letter from the Hungarian King Bela IV to Pope Innocent IV. The letter asked the then Pope: for help in resist the Mongols invasion of Hungary and Europe.

Balazs Orban, Viceminister for the Prime Minister’s Office, described the gift on his Facebook page, saying “there are many similarities between the situation then and today … we should learn from history.”

The Hungarian Leader met the pope private in Budapest on Sunday, come with Vatican officials and Hungarian President Janos Ader. They discussed the protection of the environment, Promotion of families and the role of the catholic church in Hungary, according to the Vatican.

When he landed in earlier die day in the Hungarian capital, Francis said he was pleased that the papal journeys had “started again” and that he would “bring the word and greetings to many people.”

This is the Pope’s 34th international trip and the first since he was a surgery for colon diverticulitis in July.

Read More: World News

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