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Second day of the apostolic journey to Hungary for Pope Francis. Today the Pontiff is planning several meetings – all in Budapest – in the field of Catholic charitable assistance, social affairs, relations with the Eastern Churches. At 8.45, the Pontiff will go on a private visit to the visually impaired and disabled children assisted by the “Blessed Laszlo Batthyany-Strattmann” Institute. Then at 10.15 he will instead meet the poor and refugees – many from nearby Ukraine – at the Church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. At 11.30, on the other hand, a visit to the Greek-Catholic community in the small Church of the Greek rite “Protection of the Mother of God” is scheduled. In the afternoon, the Pontiff will meet the young people at 16.30 at the “Papp Laszlo Budapest Sportarena”, and at 18.00 he will see privately the members of the Society of Jesus in the Apostolic Nunciature, where he is staying in the Magyar capital.
The message against abortion and surrogacy
Yesterday, on his first day in Hungary, but also in the message sent to the Woomb International Congress, the Pope lashed out against the “ideological colonizations” linked to gender, speaking of abortion as a “tragic defeat”, up to the words on the uterus in rent and test-tube embryos.In his speech to the Hungarian authorities and civil society, Francis points the finger at “the nefarious path of ‘ideological colonization’, which eliminates differences, as in the case of the so-called gender culture, which precisely eliminates differences or put reductive concepts of freedom before the reality of life, for example by boasting as an achievement a senseless ‘right to abortion’, which is always a tragic defeat”. “How nice instead – he adds – to build a Europe centered on the person and on peoples, where there are effective policies for the birth rate and the family, pursued carefully in this country, where different nations are a family in which the growth and uniqueness of each are preserved”.
The words on nationalisms and wars
The Pontiff also spoke of the current crises and wars. In the world we live in, “the passion for community politics and for multilateralism seems like a nice memory of the past: it seems to be witnessing the sad sunset of the choral dream of peace, while the soloists of war are making room”. This is the dramatic picture that Pope Francis has painted on the situation in Europe and in the world. “In general – he underlines -, the enthusiasm for building a peaceful and stable community of nations seems to have disintegrated, while areas are marked, differences are marked, nationalisms roar again and judgments and tones are exaggerated towards the others”. Addressing the country’s authorities and civil society, after 25-minute talks with the President of the Republic Katalin Novak and 20 with Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the Pontiff warns politics against having “the effect of inflaming instead of solving problems, he forgets his maturity after the horrors of war and regresses to a sort of war infantilism”. And he calls on Europe to rediscover its “soul”, which is that “of mending unity, not widening the rifts”. Francis wonders: “In this historical phase there are many dangers, today, many; but, I wonder, even thinking of battered Ukraine, where are the creative peace efforts? Where are they?”. The Pontiff says he thinks of a Europe “that is not hostage to the parties, becoming prey to self-referential populisms”. And precisely from one of the countries most closed to the arrival of migrants – apart from the many refugees from ‘Ukraine at war – Bergoglio reminds Europe of the “urgency” to “work on safe and legal ways, on shared mechanisms in the face of an epochal challenge that cannot be stemmed by rejecting it, but must be accepted to prepare for a future which, if will not be together, will not be”.