The papal flight from Rome touches down at International Airport as Pope Francis arrives in Hungary for his 41st Apostolic Journey abroad. On board the flight he greets journalists and answers a couple of questions including one on his health and one on the “Emananuela Orlandi” case and accusations against Pope St. John Paul II that he described as “nonsense”.
By Lisa Zengarini
Pope Francis’ Apostolic journey to Hungary kicked off on Friday morning with the arrival of the papal aircraft at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport at 11:54 am local time (GMT +2).
Welcoming him on the tarmac were the Hungarian Vice Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén and two children dressed in traditional costumes offering him salt and bread, a traditional welcome greeting ceremony in many East European cultures.
After the presentation of their respective delegations, the Pope transferred by car to Sándor Palace in Budapest.
There he will pay a courtesy visit to the President of Hungary, Ms Katalin Novák,and Prime Minister Viktor Orban, before addressing Authorities, representatives of civil society, and members of the diplomatic corps at the former Carmelite monastery, used today as the Prime Minister’s headquarters.
The Pope is visiting Hungary from 28-30 April under the “Christ is our future”.
Besides local Church and civil authorities. during the three-day visit he will meet with migrants and poor people refugees, disabled children and young people.
On the Sunday morning he will celebrate Mass in Budapest’s Kossuth Lajos Square for the country’s Catholic faithful, and in the afternoon he will meet with the Academic and Cultural World before departing back to Rome.
Onflight greetings to journalists and words on Pope St. John Paul II
As is customary, Pope Francis took time to greet the journalists on board the papal flight during the outgoing journey.
He thanked them for their work and jovially answered a few questions including one on his health to which he responded “weeds never die!”
He also answered a question regarding the groundless accusations made against Pope St. John Paul II by a family member of Emanuela Orlandi – the daughter of a Vatican employee who vanished in 1983. The Pope has already dismissed those accusations and again, today, described them as “nonsense”.