Katalin Novák, President of Hungary. Photo: Government of Hungary

«We are allies in defending traditional values»: President of Hungary reveals the three topics discussed with the Pope

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Valentina di Giorgio

(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 08.24.2023).- On the morning of Friday, August 25th, Pope Francis received the President of Hungary, Mrs. Katalin Novák, in an audience. «My journey from Kiev brought me to the Vatican, where, among other things, I discussed three important matters with the Pope,» President Novák wrote on Twitter. She then revealed the three topics addressed: «1. Our main topic was war. We agreed to work together to achieve sustainable long-term peace as soon as possible. We also discussed what we can do together to ensure that the children kidnapped in Ukraine can return home. 2. We are allies in defending traditional values, family, and protecting children. 3. We also talked with the Holy Father about his visit to Hungary in April, which clearly indicates that the papal visit was not a one-time event but has an impact on lasting generations.»

The audience of the Pope with the President of Hungary began at 9:05 in the morning and lasted for 45 minutes. The president left the Vatican at 10:05 in the morning.

Subsequently, the Hungarian president met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State, who was accompanied by Monsignor Mirosław Wachowski, the Undersecretary for Relations with States.

Pope Francis in audience with Katalin Novák, President of Hungary. Photo: Government of Hungary

During the cordial meeting at the Secretariat of State, after recalling the Apostolic Journey to Budapest, which took place from April 28th to 30th, 2023, some topics of common interest were discussed, such as family and Christian values. The conversation continued to focus on the war in Ukraine, with special reference to the humanitarian situation and efforts to end the conflict. Finally, the topic of religious freedom and the situation of persecuted Christians in the world was mentioned.

The Pope presented President Novák with several documents: the Message for the Peace Day 2022, various texts from his pontificate, the book about the Statio Orbis of March 27th, 2020, and a bronze sculpture with the inscription «Be Messengers of Peace.» In return, the head of state presented the Pope with a basket of table wine and various religious items, an icon from Transcarpathia (Ukrainian region with a Hungarian minority), and a photo album of the Pope’s visit to the country. In a copy of that album, the Pope wrote: «I thank President Katalin Novák for this volume that recalls my visit to Hungary. May a message of peace from your country spread throughout Europe, wounded by war. With my blessing, I renew my desire for unity and fraternity.»

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