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.


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



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

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