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Pope in Budapest: Put God at centre and cultivate fraternity

Andrea Tornielli, the Editorial Director of Vatican News is travelling with Pope Francis on his 34th Apostolic Visit abroad taking him to Hungary and Slovakia. He highlights some of the most significant events and messages of the day.

By Andrea Tornielli

Concluding the International Eucharistic Congress from Heroes' Square in Budapest, Pope Francis recalls that the Christian God became a servant by dying for us. Therefore, the Christian journey is not a chase after success, but begins with a step backwards, with removing oneself from the centre of life to make room for the God who dies on the cross, accepting him according to the divine logic of service, not according to the human logic of force and conquest.

After a brief friendly greeting to the authorities, among whom was Prime Minister Orbán, in the encounters that preceded the concluding Mass of the congress that gathers the Church from all over the world here, Pope Francis invited the bishops not to close themselves up in a rigid defence of "our so-called identity", but to open up to the encounter with the other, and cultivate together the dream of a fraternal society. He invited them to always adopt God's style, that of proximity, compassion and tenderness. He invited them not to use words that mark distance and impose judgement, but that help them to look to the future with confidence.

Welcoming, reciprocal openness and bridge-building were the themes on which the Pope insisted with the representatives of the other Christian churches and with some members of the Jewish communities. Addressing the latter, he spoke of the "threat of anti-Semitism, which is still rife in Europe and elsewhere", stating that "it is a fuse that must be put out".

12 September 2021, 12:19