The Hungarian government is making a contribution worth almost HUF 160 million to the preparations for the papal mass to be held in Csíksomlyó on the first of June, Miklós Soltész, Minister of State for Church and Nationality Relations at the Prime Minister’s Office said on Monday in Csíksomlyó.

The Minister of State spoke about this after he viewed the preparations at the site of the papal mass in the company of Head of Franciscan Friary Erik Urbán and Balázs Sajgó, coordinator of the visit of the Holy Father for the archdiocese.

With the Hungarian government’s contribution, the organisers will extend the stage of the Hármashalom Altar situated in the saddle between the Kissomlyó and Nagysomlyó Mountains, will install new liturgical furnishings, and will also refurbish the Csíksomlyó Antal Jakab House where Pope Francis will have lunch after mass.

Mr Soltész told representatives of the press that while the Hungarian government is unable to intervene in the organisation of an event that is taking place in the territory of another country, they are able to help the organisers of the event which concerns the Hungarian community.

The Minister of State said they support, on the one hand, projects which will serve the community for a long time after the papal visit. He mentioned among these the renovation of the stage part of the Hármashalom Altar and the refurbishment of the Antal Jakab House. He added that the roof planned for the duration of the papal mass will be removable so that it can be used in other venues later.

He added that, on the other hand, the Hungarian government also contributes to the costs of functions that only serve the few hours of the Pope’s visit to Csíksomlyó. Among these he mentioned the making of vestments and the special sacral objects of the papal mass.

“In his message, the Holy Father said that the visit must serve the peace and community of the nations living here. Csíksomlyó, too, will serve that. Anything else or additional we may hear in connection with this is not important,” he said. He observed that those who had already attended the Csíksomlyó Pilgrimage had had a chance to appreciate that the event also provided an opportunity for spiritual and communal replenishment. He believes that all those who will come to the papal visit will share this joy, and this is an opportunity that is well worth taking advantage of.

The Minister of State encouraged everyone to attend the Holy Mass on the first of June in the largest possible numbers. He observed that while registration has finished, it only relates to the fenced-off areas; one can also partake in this experience from outside the fences.

He also added that the Csíksomlyó mass will be the largest event – involving the largest number of people – of Pope Francis’ visit to Romania.

“We must demonstrate that faith, Christianity, Catholicism, and of course our national existence, the Hungarian community are equally important for us,” the Minister of State said.