Pope Francis, while addressing some Christian and Jewish leaders during a brief visit to Hungary warned of “the threat of anti-semitism”, says it still lurks in Europe.
The Pope said this after meeting Hungary’s populist and anti-immigrant PM Viktor Orban, with whom he has stark differences on the issue of refugees.
According to the Pope, anti-semitism is a “fuse that must not be allowed to burn, and the best way to defuse it is to work together, positively, and to promote fraternity.”
Orban who has been accused of an anti-Semitic stance, has said the accusation was “simply ridiculous”.
In a Facebook post, the PM said he had “asked Pope Francis not to let Christian Hungary perish.”
Hungary has a large Jewish community- some 100,000 strong.
Orban was criticised for his 2017 election campaign that included posters of Jewish financier George Soros, with the words “Let’s not allow Soros to have the last laugh!”
He rejected calls from the Jewish community to take them down.
The Pope is celebrating Mass in Budapest to mark the end of the Eucharistic Congress which has attracted tens of thousands of Christians from around the world over the past week.
His Hungarian visit is expected to last only about seven hours, before he moves on to Slovakia for three days.
The brevity of his Hungary trip compared to Slovakia has raised speculation about what signals the Pope is trying to send