90 Miles From Tyranny : Orban offers Pope copy of 1250 letter in which a Hungarian king pleads for help against Tartar invasion

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Orban offers Pope copy of 1250 letter in which a Hungarian king pleads for help against Tartar invasion

Hungarians Repel The Tartars

During his visit to Budapest on Sunday to celebrate mass, Pope Francis met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose anti-migration policy in Hungary he does not share. The Pope received a copy of a letter reminding him why he should be more circumspect in his views.

The letter is a copy of a 1250 letter from Hungarian King Bela IV to Pope Innocent IV pleading for support in resisting the Mongol invasion of Hungary and Europe. After various Turkic nomadic groups became part of the armies of the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan in the early 13th century, these Turkic armies raided Russia and Hungary and became known to Europeans as Tartars.

Pope Francis on Sunday, at the end of a flash visit to Budapest during the closing open-air Mass of the International Eucharistic Congress, had urged Hungarians to be more “open” after meeting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The Pope’s remarks were aimed at Orban’s sovereignist policies: “Religious sentiment has been the lifeblood of this nation, so attached to its roots. Yet the cross, planted in the ground, not only invites us to be well-rooted, it also raises and extends its arms towards everyone.”

Orban, who has spoken out against “the Muslim invasion” offered Francis a copy of a letter from 1250 from a Hungarian king sent to the pope at the time, pleading for aid from the West against the Tartar warriors threatening Christian Hungary.

Orban responded to the Pope’s challenge: “I asked the Pope not to let the Christians of Hungary perish.” The Prime Minister reported on the meeting with Francis on his Facebook account, where he also posted a photo of his meeting with the leader of the 1,3 billion Catholics. The letter is also an historical reminder that ordinary people secured the victory over the Golden Horde and the threat of the Mongolian Empire.

Never in Vatican memory has such a “diplomatic affront” to a pope from a regularly elected head of government been witnessed, reported French daily Le Figaro.

Hungarians remember their history

The European Social Survey showed that anti-immigrant sentiment in the Hungarian public was higher than in most of the post-socialist block. These views are particularly strong when it comes to Muslims: according to the Pew Research Center, 72 percent of Hungarians had unfavorable views of Muslims in 2016 compared to the EU median of 43 percent even though Hungary has a small Muslim population.

Hungarians were also more likely to consider refugees a burden or a major threat more than the average...

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