Pope meets Hungarian PM Orban and President Ader

September 12, 2021 GMT

STORY: Hungary Pope Orban - Pope meets Hungarian PM Orban and President Ader

LENGTH: 01:30



TYPE: Natsound



DATELINE: 12 September 2021 - Budapest




Budapest - 12 September 2021

1. Pope Francis enters room and greets Hungarian President Janos Ader, Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen

2. Pope walking to chair in centre of large room

3. President, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister seated facing pope

4. Pope seated facing Hungarian leaders with Secretary of State Parolin and Secretary for Relations with the States Paul Gallagher

5. Pope nodding as he listens to translator


6. Wide of room with men seated and photographer and camerapersons

7. President presenting gift

8. Close of pope looking at gift, pan to president

9. Pope and president walking to look at mosaic of St. Peter’s being presented as gift

10. Close of mosaic

11. Three Hungarian leaders bowing to pope, Orban bows low as the pope gives him his hand to say goodbye


Pope Francis arrived in Hungary on Sunday on his first foreign trip since undergoing intestinal surgery in July, kicking off a four-day pilgrimage with an awkward meeting with Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who represents the type of populist, nationalist leader Francis frequently criticizes.

Orban, whose anti-migration policies clash with Francis’ call for refugee welcome, greeted the Argentine pope at the Palace of Art and the two went into a private meeting attended also by the Hungarian president and Vatican officials.

Hungary’s hard-line stance on migration apparently didn’t come up.

“I asked Pope Francis not to let Christian Hungary perish,” Orban wrote on Facebook.

Video footage of the encounter showed Francis shaking hands with President Janos Ader, Orban and deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen and smiling, and then the Hungarian and Vatican sides sitting apart in a cavernous room of the museum.

Orban then stayed in the background when Francis and Ader exchanged gifts. The Vatican said the meeting was held in a “cordial atmosphere” and lasted longer than expected - 40 minutes.

“Among the various topics discussed were the role of the church in the country, the commitment to the protection of the environment, the protection and promotion of the family,” said a Vatican statement.

Francis is only spending seven hours in Budapest before moving Sunday afternoon onto a four-day tour of neighboring Slovakia.

The lopsided itinerary suggested that Francis wanted to avoid giving Orban the political boost that comes with hosting a pope for a proper state visit ahead of elections next spring.


Vatican and Hungarian officials have insisted Francis isn’t snubbing Hungary, noting that the Hungarian church and state only invited him to close out an international conference on the Eucharist on Sunday.

Orban has frequently depicted his government as a defender of Christian civilization in Europe and a bulwark against migration from Muslim-majority countries.

Francis has expressed solidarity with migrants and refugees and criticized what he called “national populism” advanced by governments like Hungary’s.

He has urged governments to welcome and integrate as many migrants as they can.


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