Pope receives Hungary's Prime Minister: focus on Ukrainian refugees

Pope Francis receives Viktor Orbán in audience in the Vatican. The Hungarian Prime Minister was re-elected to lead his country for the fourth time on 3 April last.

By Linda Bordoni

Pope Francis spent 40 minutes with Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary,  whom he received in audience on Thursday morning.

The premier arrived at the Vatican shortly before 11 am, accompanied by his wife and entourage, and did not meet with other Vatican authorities due to the private nature of his visit.

Orbán is on his first trip abroad since his re-election as head of his government on 3 April.

"My first official trip after the elections will take me to the Vatican, to Pope Francis," Orbán himself revealed on Wednesday via his Facebook account.

A forty-minute meeting

Pope Francis welcomed the Prime Minister in the Apostolic Library inviting him to take a seat.

The conversation between the two leaders took place in the presence of an interpreter, but speaking in English, the Pope blessed Mr. Orbán, his family, and Hungary, a country that is engaged in offering shelter to neighbouring Ukrainians fleeing the war.

The Prime Minister replied in English with the words: "We are waiting for you,“ referring to an invitation to the Pope to visit Hungary.

On the sidelines of the meeting, his spokesman, Zoltan Kovacs, said Orbán had asked Pope Francis to "support our efforts for peace."

Pope Francis receives Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary
Pope Francis receives Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary
21 April 2022, 16:09