- Title: Tens of thousands greet Pope Francis arriving at Mass in Budapest
- Date: 12th September 2021
- Summary: PEOPLE LOOKING AND CHEERING PEOPLE LOOKING AND POINTING
- Embargoed: 26th September 2021 13:52
- Keywords: Budapest Hungary Mass Eucharistic Congress Pope Francis immigration
- Location: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
- City: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
- Country: Hungary
- Topics: Europe,Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA003EUEXUTJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Tens of thousands cheered Pope Francis on Sunday (September 12) as he arrived for a Mass closing a Church Congress in the Hungarian capital Budapest.
Francis arrived in Hungary early on Sunday for an unusually short stay that underlines differences with the anti-immigrant Orban, his political opposite.
Speaking in remarks after the Mass, Francis said that Hungary could preserve its Christian roots while opening up to the needy, an apparent response to nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban's stand that Muslim immigration could destroy its heritage.
Francis used the imagery of a cross to show that something as deeply rooted as religious belief did not exclude a welcoming attitude.
"The cross, planted in the ground, not only invites us to be well-rooted, it also raises and extends its arms towards everyone," he said.
Tens of thousands cheered as Francis arrived in the popemobile to preside over the open-air Mass at central Budapest Heroes' Square.
"It was wonderful. When I saw him I could hardly control myself, there was all the applause and tears were streaming down my face," Hungarian pilgrim Piroska Imre said.
Francis, 84, who was spending only seven hours in the capital Budapest, met Orban and President Janos Ader at the start of his visit.
The brevity of his Budapest stay has prompted diplomats and Catholic media to suggest the pope is giving priority to Slovakia, in effect snubbing Hungary.
Later on Sunday Francis moves on to Slovakia, where he will stay much longer, visiting four cities before returning to Rome on Wednesday.
(Production: Kriszta Fenyo, Fedja Grulovic, Branko Filipovic, Anna Dabrowska)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None