- Title: Pope Francis departs Rome for his apostolic visit to Hungary and Slovakia
- Date: 12th September 2021
- Summary: ROME, ITALY (SEPTEMBER 12, 2021) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) OFFICIALS STANDING NEXT TO ALITALIA PLANE BEFORE POPE FRANCIS BOARDS COCKPIT OF PLANE WITH ITALIAN AND VATICAN FLAGS FLYING POPE FRANCIS SPEAKING TO OFFICIALS, CLIMBING STEPS AND BOARDING PLANE COCKPIT OF PLANE WITH ITALIAN FLAG FLYING PLANE TAKING OFF FROM FIUMICINO AIRPORT
- Embargoed: 26th September 2021 05:21
- Keywords: Hungary Italy Pope Francis Rome Slovakia apostolic visit
- Location: ROME, ITALY
- City: ROME, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Europe,Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001EUEXGLJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Pope Francis left Rome on Sunday (September 12) morning to travel to Hungary at the start of his first foreign trip in months.
Francis, 84, will spend only seven hours in the Hungarian capital Budapest to close an international Roman Catholic meeting before moving on to Slovakia, where he will stay until Wednesday (September 15) and visit four cities.
The trip will be the first test of the pope's strength since surgery in which 33 cm (13 inches) of his intestine were removed because of a narrowing of the colon.
The Vatican's schedule says Francis is due to meet Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
But the extreme brevity of his stay in Budapest has prompted diplomats and Catholic media to suggest that the pope is giving priority to Slovakia and in effect snubbing Hungary.
In Slovakia, Francis will meet the president, prime minister and parliamentarians but also Slovakia's Jewish community.
About 105,000 Slovak Jews were killed in the Holocaust and today the community numbers around 3,000.
In Kosice, he will meet with the Roma population in the dilapidated Lunik IX district, one of the largest concentrations in the country.
Slovakia has a Roma population about 440,000, many in settlements on outskirts of towns.
Francis will say two open-air Masses in Slovakia - which is about 65% Catholic - including one service in the lengthy Byzantine rite.
(Production: Jaime Lopez Lopez, Fabiano Franchitti, Ben Dangerfield)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None