“The proliferation of Christian faith and morals is playing a much more important role in the world than previously, because these days Christian culture and faith are facing a host of challenges, but Europe can only be strong and competitive again if it returns to its Christian roots”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Friday in Győr at the official inauguration of the new refectory of the Gergely Czuczor Benedictine Grammar School and College.

At the event, Mr. Szijjártó added that as a result of the changes going on in the world, Hungary will only be able to remain strong if it insists on its national identity and does not allow itself to be distanced from its historical heritage and Christian roots. “We Hungarians are rightly proud of the fact that we have been a Christian state for over a thousand years, because this has played a role in the continued existence of the state, as has faith, which has kept us Hungarian and human even in the worst possible periods of our history”, he stated.

“We are also proud to be among those brave countries that speak openly, directly and honestly about challenges, values, and the Christian foundations of the responses that need to be provided, and of the fact that we are not afraid to state that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world today”, he said, adding: “As a Christian country, we have also undertaken the responsibility of helping Christian communities all over the world”.

“Today, Hungary has a Christian Democratic government that proudly bases its decisions on Christian values, and a patriotic government that exclusively regards the national interest as its compass”, Mr. Szijjártó declared. “This has huge significance today amidst the turbulences being caused by international political and economic changes”, he stated. “Communities that nurture Christian values and heritage, such as the country’s Benedictine community, play a key role in preserving Christian heritage”, he underlined, adding that the Benedictine Order bear within it the traditions of past centuries and is passing on the most important values of Christianity: the freedom to profess our faith, mutual respect, the ideal of solidarity, assuring internal and external freedom, social commitment, and the correct balance between freedom and responsibility. “Those who have a mandate to lead the country today have a historic duty to protect Christian values using all possible constitutional instruments”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

The Minister also spoke about the fact that he was a student of the Gergely Czuczor Benedictine Grammar School and College in Győr from 1993 to 1997, and it was during those years that his faith, principles and system of values became consolidated, for which he expressed his thanks and appreciation.

With relation to the refurbished refectory, he said that the renovation of the Order’s church and pharmacy are still ongoing, and that there are additional plans regarding how the institution could be further developed to enable the young people studying there to better contribute to the country’s development via the stable system of values and competitive knowledge they acquire at the school.

Prior Kelemen Sárai-Szabó spoke about the fact that the refectory has been refurbished and the pharmacy is being restored within the framework of a cross-border partnership programme, and thanked Mr. Szijjártó for his assistance and for the fact that he is supporting the development of both the school and the Order.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)