Pope Francis arrived in Hungary early in the morning on Sunday, September 12, 2021, for an unusually short visit that highlighted differences with Viktor Orban, the nationalist and anti-immigrant Prime Minister of Hungary. </p><div> <p>Francis, 84, will spend only seven hours in the capital, Budapest, to attend the conclusion of an international meeting of Catholics, and then head to Slovakia, where he will stay longer, visiting four cities before leaving the country on Wednesday.
“(We) are resuming visits and this is very important because we can convey our words and congratulations to the people,” Francis told reporters on his flight to Budapest, referring to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Asked about a recent surgery, the Pope said he was fine.
The Vatican said the Pope’s agenda in Hungary included a meeting with Orban, President Janos Ader, bishops and representatives of some Jewish communities before he leads a mass at the end of a Catholic Church meeting that began last Sunday.
Because the Pope’s visit to Budapest, the first since his last operation in July, was so short, diplomats and Catholic media said Francis was prioritizing Slovakia and reprimanding Hungary.
Francis denounces from time to time what he considers a return to nationalist and populist movements, calls for European unity, and criticizes countries that are trying to solve the migration crisis with unilateral and isolationist behavior.