“Christ would like to reach people through our testimony and preaching”

12 September 2021
In his welcome speech to Pope Francis the Head of the Hungarian Church spoke on the importance of ecumenism and the dialogue between East and West, as well as on the honourable József Mindszenty.

In his Sunday sermon in Heroes’ Square Cardinal Péter Erdő expressed his thanks to Pope Francis for accepting the invitation to celebrate in-person the Statio Orbis, the Closing Mass of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress.

The Hungarian Cardinal reminded us that calling the closing masses of the International Eucharistic congresses “Statio Orbis” goes back to the papacy of Saint Pope John XXIII, and actually has the meaning that “this kind of Eucharistic celebration visualises the existence of a huge community around the table of the Lord in a visible form.” He outlined that the Holy Mass of today “is a very powerful symbol, which expresses our unity around Christ, under the guidance of St. Peter’s successor, accompanied by ecclesiastical dignitaries and the faithful. In reference to ecumenism, the Archbishop of Esztergom expressed his special thanks to Bartholomew I. Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople for attending the Congress in-person. As to the Cardinal, the attendance of non-Christians, including the representatives of the Jewish communities, as well as of other various denominations, clearly show “that the Church’s vocation between the people is to be Christ’s messenger for the nations.” The Cardinal also referred to the Eucharistic Congress motto, “All my springs are in you” emphasizing that Jesus Christ himself is the source of the living water, thereby fulfilling the eschatological promise of the Psalm. He outlined: “Christ would like to reach people through our testimony and preaching, wants to reach out through our charity service to the needy, the sick, the persecuted, the ones carrying burdens on account of their language, ethnicity or national background, and to all whose life is taken meaningless and invaluable in the eyes of the world, and who is desperately searching his path.”

Erdő Péter

The Hungarian Church Leader called Budapest as the city of bridges, wording his speech accordingly: “we have a mission to become a bridge between East and West, between various cultures, religions, and nations.” As to the Holy Father’s apostolic visit to Slovakia right after his Holy Mass in Budapest, Péter Erdő reminded us that the document of reconciliation and friendship was signed 15 years ago by the members of both the Hungarian and the Slovak Bishops’ Conference that finally resulted in “a brotherhood and mutual cooperation.”

Péter Erdő also talked about the lengthy, many thousands kilometres long journey of the Mission Cross around Hungary and the neighbouring countries. The relics of the regions’ Blessed and Saints are embedded into the Mission Cross, reminding us that “we can also experience the sanctity of life in the footsteps of the great martyrs and witnesses of the past century.” He recalled the memory of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, having been beatified this day in Warsaw, Poland. “We also do keep a loving memory of Cardinal József Mindszenty, the venerable servant of God, who showed us the example of an unbroken loyalty to his Church and nation” – talking about the life of the Hungarian Cardinal, being about to be beatified as well.

Cardinal Péter Erdő gifted Pope Francis with the copy of the Mission Cross, finally invited the Holy Father to celebrate the Statio Orbis “on behalf of and for the entire Church” so that “we can fulfil our mission in the world for the world” – closed his speech the Archbishop of Esztergom.

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