In Hungary, you can get an abortion at any time within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and even later under specific circumstances.
As the European Union Parliament continues to exert pressure on Hungary to reverse what they see as a decline in the rule of law and democratic principles under Orbán’s government—including the reduction of rights for LGBTQ+ people—the recent visit by the Pope is timely.
Orbán’s right-wing populist Fidesz Party enacted a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and adoptive parenting by same-sex couples unilaterally in 2011. The government has also banned the media from depicting homosexuality or gender nonconformity in kids.
During his three-day visit to Budapest, the Pope said in a speech to government leaders on Friday, including Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, that thinking of abortion as a “right” is senseless. He also said that gender ideology is an assault on individual liberties.
Pope Francis characterized the path we are on, culturally, as “baneful.” As for cancel culture, he called the practice “ideological colonization,” pained by people hive-minding and punishing people’s differences.
Gender theory, he says, places before reality reductive concepts of freedom.
He asked one to imagine how much better Europe would be if we built it centered on humanity, with policies for natality and the family. He mused about all the nations coming together to form an entity that protects the development and individuality of each country.
He longed to return to a “European soul” that existed as it was rebuilt after WWII, looking beyond a country’s boundaries. He rejected forms of populism that are “self-referential” with purely nationalist concerns.
Later, in St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Francis challenged bishops, priests, and nuns to face the fast-paced social changes and the loss of faith that he calls a crisis affecting the West.
Pope Francis met with Hungarian leaders Katalin Novák and Viktor Orbán before his talk. The pair are responsible for many family-friendly policies, including a $33,000 bonus for families with three children.