The Letters

Francis in Romania

Re “Pope Francis: Be Wary of Hungary’s Right-Wing Populists,” by Marc Roscoe Loustau (4/29). The visit of Pope Francis to Romania will include very important moments in Transylvania. For ethnic and religious minorities in this region, who often have been at the peripheries and had to struggle for their identity and faith, this is a sign of hope and an incredible gift by the pope, greeted by thankful joy.

Advertisement

The holy Mass at Csíksomlyó, the most important pilgrimage place for Hungarians in the world, will strengthen the faith and contribute to building bridges between Hungarian communities and other peoples in the region, cooperating on an equal basis, respecting the rights and traditions of every community.

A propos of traditions: Our symbols, like the Hungarian national anthem (which is, in fact, a prayer), predate the 20th-century divisions of our nation and are considered by all our communities part of their patrimony. As the Holy Father recently reminded us: “The church has always urged the love of one’s own people and homeland, the respect for the treasure of various cultural expressions, of the customs and habits of peoples.” That attitude was somehow lacking in the article.

What I can say is that Hungary is grateful to Pope Francis and joyfully looks forward to his visit to neighboring Romania.

Eduard Habsburg-Lothringen

Ambassador of Hungary to the Holy See

 

Ch-ch-changes?

Re “New Life Goes Old School: Why Megachurches Are Embracing (Some) Catholic Traditions,” by Anna Keating (5/13): The author describes a trend in charismatic Protestant congregations that I have noticed over 20 years in evangelical Protestant congregations. Is it “a move of the Holy Spirit toward greater unity or cultural appropriation on a massive scale”? Neither, as the author describes it. It seems that Protestants are just adopting some traditional liturgical practices.

Richard Bell

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

There’s nothing wrong with setting a particular practice aside for a time and trying something else. Maybe you could pray with the psalms. Or maybe take a book of spiritual reflections and let that invite you into prayer. Or maybe you could just sit quietly in God’s presence.
James Martin, S.J.August 19, 2019
A Mass for young adults on Dec. 7, 2016, at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
All youth counselors should be aware of this connection.
Jane Cooley FruehwirthAugust 19, 2019
‘Blinded by the Light’ captures the angst and joy of being a teenager.
Kerry WeberAugust 16, 2019