Pope, last day in Hungary: “Sad to see doors closed to migrants”

The pontiff’s words at mass in Lajos square: “We are called to welcome, no to divisions between us”. Also present was Prime Minister Orban

Last day of the Pope’s 41st apostolic visit to Hungary, the heart of Europe. Tonight Bergoglio will be back in Rome. The Pontiff, after leaving the Apostolic Nunciature, moved by car to Kossuth Lajos Square for the celebration of mass. Upon arrival, after a few rides in the popemobile among the faithful gathered, the Pope began the Eucharistic celebration on the fourth Sunday of Easter. Also present were Hungarian President Katalin Novak and Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

It’s sad and it hurts to see closed doors: the closed doors of our selfishness towards those who walk beside us every day; the closed doors of our individualism in a society that risks atrophying in solitude; the closed doors of our indifference towards those in suffering and poverty; the doors closed to those who are foreign, different, migrant, poor”, the Pope articulates loud and clear during the mass.

Bergoglio also speaks of the closures by the Church: “Even the closed doors of our ecclesial communities: closed between us, closed towards the world, closed towards those who are ‘not in order’, closed towards those who yearn for God’s forgiveness. Please: let us open the doors! Let us also try to be like Jesus – with words, gestures, daily activities: an open door, a door that is never slammed in anyone’s face, a door that allows everyone to enter and experience the beauty of love and forgiveness from the Lord. I repeat this above all to myself, to my brother Bishops and priests: to us pastors. Because the shepherd, says Jesus, is not a brigand or a thief, that is, he does not take advantage of his role, he does not oppress the flock entrusted to him, he does not ‘steal’ space from lay brothers, he does not exercise rigid authority ”.

Bergoglio, who two days ago had a face to face with the Hungarian prime minister, the sovereignist Viktor Orban present at the Pope’s mass, it is also aimed at those with political responsibilities: “Let us encourage ourselves to be ever more open doors: ‘facilitators’ of God’s grace, experts of closeness, willing to offer life, just as Jesus Christ, our Lord and our all, teaches us with open arms from the chair of the cross and show every time on the altar, Live Bread broken for us. I also say this to lay brothers and sisters, to catechists, to pastoral workers, to those with political and social responsibilities, to those who simply carry on with their daily lives, sometimes with difficulty: be open doors”.

Francis underlines: “It is beautiful to find ourselves together: the Bishops and priests, the religious and the lay faithful; and it is beautiful to share this joy together with the ecumenical delegations, the heads of the Jewish community, the representatives of civil institutions and the diplomatic corps. This is catholicity. : all of us Christians, called by name by the Good Shepherd, are called to welcome and spread his love, to make his fold inclusive and never excluding”. “And therefore – he admonishes – we are all called to cultivate relationships of fraternity and collaboration, without dividing ourselves, without considering our community as a reserved environment, without getting caught up in the concern of defending each one’s own space, but opening ourselves to mutual love”.

“Let us let the Lord of life enter our hearts, his Word that comforts and heals, to then go out and be ourselves open doors in society. Be open and inclusive towards each other, to help Hungary grow in fraternity , the way of peace”, exhorts the Pope. “Be open and inclusive towards one another, to help Hungary grow in fraternity, the way of peace. Jesus the Good Shepherd – says Francis – calls us by name and takes care of us with infinite tenderness. He is the door and whoever enters through him has eternal life: he is therefore our future, a future of ‘life in abundance’. Therefore, let us never be discouraged, let us never allow ourselves to be robbed of joy and the peace that He has given us, let us not close ourselves in problems or apathy. Let us allow ourselves to be accompanied by our Shepherd: with Him may our life, our families, our Christian communities and all of Hungary shine with new life!”.

At the end, Cardinal Péter Erdő, Metropolitan Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, addresses a greeting and thanks to the Pope. Then, Francis leads the recitation of the Regina Coeli with the faithful present in Kossuth Lajos Square.

The square in which mass is dedicated to Lajos Kossuth, national hero, inspiring leader of the Hungarian revolution of 1848, is located in the center of Budapest, in the 5th district. It houses in its space the neo-Gothic building of the Hungarian Parliament, symbol of the capital, the Ethnographic Museum and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. This is the first mass in which everyone participates, from Hungary and from all over the border.