The government takes the view that a very clear distinction must be made between economic migration and the taking in of those fleeing for their lives, said Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén who had talks during his Monday visit to the Vatican with Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State at the Holy See. Talking to the public service media, the Deputy Prime Minister said that at his meeting they spoke about the possibility of a papal visit to Hungary as well as about the beatification of Cardinal József Mindszenty.

According to Mr Semjén, he had a meeting lasting more than an hour and a half with Secretary of State Pietro Parolin at the Holy See where they covered all important issues. They discussed church affairs, the issue of church schools, and the fact that relations between the state and churches are exemplary.

The politician said at the meeting the parties focused in particular on the 2020 international Eucharistic congress and the preparations for the event.

They also discussed the possibility of a papal visit to Hungary, he said. In this context he highlighted that the Hungarian Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the Hungarian government invited the Pope simultaneously; this message was earlier relayed by head of state János Áder. The Eucharistic congress would be a fine occasion for a visit to Hungary, as would be the beatification of Cardinal Mindszenty, Mr Semjén pointed out, highlighting that beatification is to take place “within the foreseeable future”.

The parties further touched upon world political issues in the context of the European Union and Hungary, Mr Semjén said, adding that the topics covered included the situation of the Hungarian minority in Transcarpathia.

The Deputy Prime Minister informed Cardinal Pietro Parolin about what the Hungarian government does regarding the issue of migration, and why. He highlighted that they would like to take assistance to the ground, and the right solution is not for these people to leave their birthplace. The right solution is if they are helped to lead a dignified life in their own native land. According to Mr Semjén’s communication, the Cardinal greatly appreciated the fact that the institutions helping Christians which function within the government provide enormous financial assistance for the construction of hospitals and schools.

He said they were able to present the Hungarian position very clearly.

The Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that the Holy See perceives the world in global terms, and emphasising a need for solidarity as a Christian virtue is a natural mission of the Catholic Church. In actual fact, the question is what effective solidarity means, he indicated, adding that according to the Hungarian position migration generates conflicts and terrorism in the host countries.

According to Mr Semjén, Cardinal Pietro Parolin stressed it is important to provide for people who flee for their lives for political or religious reasons while they are in danger. At the same time, a very clear distinction must be made between economic migration and people fleeing for their lives, the Deputy Prime Minister indicated, adding that the Cardinal fully shared this view and adopted a highly constructive approach. The position of the Holy See is clear: against the background of emphasising the need for solidarity, they recognise the right to an identity as well as the right of countries to security, and that people can only be taken in to a degree to which integration as a process is genuinely resolved.