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Cardinal Erdő: Pope Francis’ Attendance at Eucharistic Congress ‘great sign of hope’

Hungary Today 2021.04.15.

Through the International Eucharistic Congress “we do our best to present our culture, spiritual heritage, our amazing country, and capital city,” said Cardinal Péter Erdő in an interview to Italian news site Settimananews.it.” The head of the Hungarian Catholic Church shared some details about the upcoming International Eucharistic Congress to be held in Budapest in September.

In the interview, Péter Erdő shared that after Pope Francis announced in a video message in Cebu, Philippines,  that the next International Eucharistic Congress in line will be held in Budapest, they were all delighted, and not only the Hungarians, but everyone who was present.

According to the Cardinal, the personal attendance of the Holy Father could be a great sign of hope after almost two years of confinement, fear, and isolation due to the pandemic.

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Pope Francis to Visit Hungary

Pope Francis will visit Hungary and attend the mass concluding the International Eucharistic Congress on September 12, Cardinal Péter Erdő told state news wire MTI on Monday. The visit was pushed back from 2020 when the entire congress was postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, he said. The visit is “great joy for […]Continue reading

He also expressed hope that the Congress would bring the grace of reconciliation for Hungary’s society and for Europe, which is in great need of hope, while also intensifying the dialogue throughout the entire society.

“Obviously, through all the Congress programs we do our best to present our culture, spiritual heritage, our amazing country and capital city, without forgetting that the focus of the week is on the Eucharist, on the living Christ,” the head of the Hungarian Catholic Church said.

Péter Erdő highlighted that this would not be the first time that Hungary organized an International Eucharistic Congress- one was held in 1938. As the wind of the war was already in the air, it was held in an atmosphere full of fear and tension.

But Hungary received particularly high recognition from both the Vatican and the Catholic world for the way the event had been organized and handled.

“Currently, we are preparing something similar,” said Erdő.

The Cardinal believes other Christian denominations share the excitement of Catholics for the next International Eucharistic Congress.

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“I’m convinced that both the other Christian denominations and the Jewish community (one of the most significant in Europe) are enthusiastically looking forward to the meeting with the Holy Father,” Erdő said.

The Hungarian Catholic Church also seeks to involve in the Congress those Hungarians who have been living for decades in neighboring countries, and national minorities, including the Romas, Erdő emphasized.

Asked about his relationship with the state administration and assessment of the harsh criticism of populism against the current government, the Cardinal said the Hungarian Catholic Church’s relationship with the government and the leadership of the capital “is considered essential” for the best realization of the world event.

As in 1938, also in 2021, the Congress is not a political, but definitely a religious event, Péter Erdő emphasized.

Featured photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI