Pope Francis has urged Hungary to be more open to migrants during a short visit to the country.
Francis said that Hungary can still maintain and preserve its Christian roots while opening the country to people in need.
This comes as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban imposed strict restrictions on the nation’s borders to prevent Muslim immigration which he stated could destroy Hungary’s heritage.
Arriving in the country earlier this morning, Francis closed a Church Congress with a Mass for thousands of people in central Budapest.
During the congress, Francis used the imagery of a cross to show that religious beliefs don’t exclude a welcoming attitude.
“The cross urges us to keep our roots firm, but without defensiveness; to draw from the wellsprings, opening ourselves to the thirst of the men and women of our time,”.
Calling for European unity, Francis has denounced what he sees as a resurgence of nationalist and populist movements.
In contrast to the Pope’s beliefs, Orban told the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia that the only solution to migration was for the EU to give all rights back to the nation-state.
The Pope called for migrants to be welcomed and integrated to tackle Europe’s “demographic winter”.
However, Orban stated that only the “traditional Christian family policy can help us out of that demographic crisis”.
IMAGE – “Pope-Francis-Venezuela” by ThiênLong is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0