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Notre Dame Tragedy: Hungary Expresses Solidarity and Offers Help

Miklós Halász-Szabó 2019.04.16.

The Hungarian government, churches and municipalities expressed their sympathies over the horrible fire that engulfed the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris and even offered to help with the reconstruction.

“We feel sympathy for our French friends when looking at the painful series of images from Paris,” Péter Szijjártó, the Foreign Minister, wrote in a statement released late on Monday. He emphasized that “Notre Dame is an important religious and cultural Christian symbol for us all.”

Later, at a Tuesday press conference on a different subject, Szijjártó said that Hungary was always ready to aid Christians in need, and so it was “naturally” ready to provide aid to the reconstruction, should that be needed. Besides financial aid, Hungary offers experts to coordinate parts of the reconstruction project.

Cardinal Péter Erdő Expresses Solidarity with Paris Bishop

It is shocking to hear that not long after the fire in the Saint-Sulpice Church of Paris, now, at the beginning of Holy week, the Notre Dame is also on fire, Cardinal Péter Erdő wrote to the Bishop of Paris and the city’s Catholic community.

The Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest expressed his solidarity and voiced his hope that “God almighty will resurrect our communities in new life, faith and love.”

Szeged, Székesfehérvár offers EUR 10,000 for Notre Dame Reconstruction

The municipality of Szeged has offered 10,000 Euros to aid in the reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris which was heavily damaged by fire.

The local authority of the city in southern Hungary said in a statement today that Paris had come to Szeged’s aid after one of its largest floods 140 years ago, and now, Szeged is repaying the French capital in the spirit of European solidarity. Szeged is also launching a donation drive to raise funds for reconstructing the damaged parts of the cathedral, it added.

The municipality of Székesfehérvar has also offered 10,000 Euros towards the cost of reconstructing the damaged parts of the building, the local mayor, András Cser-Palkovics, said today. He urged all other town mayors to make a similar donation if they have the means to do so.

Jewish Communities Collect Donations

The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz) said in a statement that it is also collecting donations to aid the reconstruction. Mazsihisz head András Heisler, the vice-president of the World Jewish Congress, said in a statement that he had proposed the idea of calling on Jews worldwide to contribute to the cause to WJC President, Ronald S. Lauder.

Heisler expressed his sympathies to the Catholic community and the French nation: “There is no person of faith in the world whose heart is not wrenched by such destruction.”