Hungary: The Pope receives the President of the Republic in audience

Situation of Christians in the Middle East, the war in Ukraine and the commitment to peace

© Vatican Media

Today the Holy Father Francis received in audience Her Excellency Ms. Katalin Novák, President of the Republic of Hungary, who subsequently met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by His Excellency Msgr. Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations.

During the cordial discussions in the Secretariat of State, after recalling the Apostolic Journey to Budapest, last September, on the occasion of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress, appreciation was expressed at the good existing bilateral relations. The parties then focused on some issues of common interest, such as the family, promotion of the culture of life, the youth and the situation of Christians in the Middle East.

Finally, attention turned to the war in Ukraine and the commitment to peace.

Katalin Novák

According to the EFE news agency, the President of the Republic of Hungary, Katalin Novák, takes office for a period of five years after being elected by Parliament on 10 March as the first woman and the youngest person, 44 years old, to head the state.

The new president has been minister of family affairs (2020-2021) and vice-president of the Fidesz party (2017-2021), headed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, of whom she is a loyal supporter.

The president, a mother of three, claims to be a devout Calvinist and defends the model of the “traditional Christian family”.

Novák was also the host of international events in defence of families and Christian values, where she often coincided with ultra-nationalist leaders such as Italy’s Matteo Salvini, Spain’s Santiago Abascal and France’s Marine Le Pen.

Among others, in 2016 she received the “Luchador por la Familia” award from the Associació Plataforma per la Família Catalunya.