The World’s Conservatives Gather in Budapest

How the Demographic Summit Will Not Save the Future Of Our Planet and Why It Matters

23 September 2021

In just one month, Hungary’s capital hosts three flashy events reflective of the ideological wars that have haunted Central Europe for the past decade. Although often viewed as insignificant political PR pageants, with little press coverage by international media, these events are emblematic of the narratives that struggle for influence within the region.

On 12 September 2021, Pope Francis arrived in Budapest for the closing Mass of the International Eucharistic Congress, a week-long Catholic gathering that takes place every four years, each time hosted by a different country. 

Pope Francis’ message to thousands of believers at Heroes’ Square emphasised openness to strangers and tolerance. ‘Be grounded and open, rooted and respectful …’ — he said in his speech — ‘…the cross… raises and extends its arms towards everyone.’ In addition to attending the mass, Francis held meetings with representatives of the Ecumenical Council of Churches and of the country’s Jewish communities, where he urged Christians and Jews to unite against anti-Semitism.  

Will ‘Pope Soros’ Let Christian Hungary Perish? 

On the same visit, Francis attended a meeting with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in the exquisite interiors of Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts, a scenery vividly evoking shots from Paolo Sorrentino’s TV show depicting Lenny Belardo’s intrigues at the Vatican.  

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Marysia Ciupka

Visegrad Insight Junior Fellow

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