Posted on May 1, 2023

Be Open to Foreigners, Pope Francis Tells Hungarians

Lili Bayer, Politico, April 30, 2023

Pope Francis called for open doors and inclusivity during a visit to Hungary on Sunday.

The Hungarian government has long faced criticism over anti-immigration policies and rhetoric that has stoked xenophobia at home. Concerns about Budapest’s treatment of minorities were exacerbated on the eve of the pope’s three-day visit when Hungarian President Katalin Novák unexpectedly pardoned a far-right terrorist.

Speaking to a large crowd in central Budapest on Sunday morning before wrapping up his trip, the pope did not directly address the Hungarian government’s policies but was blunt about the need to embrace outsiders.

“How sad and painful it is to see closed doors,” the pope said at an outdoor mass, pointing to “the closed doors of our indifference towards the underprivileged and those who suffer; the doors we close towards those who are foreign or unlike us {snip}”


“Be open and inclusive,” the pope added, “then, and in this way, help Hungary to grow in fraternity, which is the path of peace.”