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Pope Francis could return to Hungary in 2022, Italian media reports


Budapest, Hungary – After a brief stay in Budapest last September, Pope Francis could return to Hungary in 2022, Italian Catholic outlet ACI Stampa speculated in an article looking at the pontiff’s possible trips this year.

According to the Catholic newspaper, the Holy Father could travel to Hungary in September 2022. Along with Kazakhstan, currently in the midst of an unprecedented civil unrest, Hungary has also been named as a potential neutral meeting place between Pope Francis and Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow Kirill.

The report has not been confirmed by the Vatican, who hasn’t disclosed which destinations the 85-year-old pontiff, known for his intense travel schedule pre-pandemic, will visit this year.

The only officially confirmed papal trip for 2022 so far is Florence, where the pope is set to travel on February 27.

Pope Francis came to Budapest last September, where he only stayed several hours to deliver the closing mass of the International Eucharistic Congress held in the Hungarian capital.

Slight controversy marked the leadup to the visit, with early reports suggesting the Holy Father would not meet with Hungary’s political leadership, including President Janos Ader and Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The rumours were however quickly dismissed and the meeting eventually took place, with PM Orban giving to Pope Francis a 13th-century letter of Hungarian King Bela IV asking Pope Innocent IV assistance in resisting the Mongol invasion of Europe.

Some Hungarian commentators also expressed their dismay at the briefness of the Pope’s visit, which was immediately followed by a three-day stay in Slovakia.

Other destinations on the Vatican’s 2022 travel list, according to ACI Stampa, include Ukraine, Spain, Malta, Montenegro, Canada, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Last year, the Pope made a historic visit to Iraq, as well as apostolic journeys to Greece, Cyprus, Hungary, and Slovakia.

Coordinated by Ábel Bede, Kafkadesk's Budapest office is made up of a growing team of freelance journalists, editors and fact-checkers passionate about Hungarian affairs and dedicated to bringing you all the latest news, events and insights from Hungary.