Recently in the spotlight

The Székely flag displayed with pride at the Csíksomlyó pilgrimage.

The National Catholic Reporter on the Papal visit to Csíksomlyó, Translyvania

The National Catholic Reporter’s Joshua J. McElwee wrote an exhaustive piece on the upcoming visit of Pope Francis to Romania, emphasizing the trip’s significance from the perspective of outreach to the Romanian Greek Catholic Church, which counts 500,000 adherents. Pope Francis will beatify seven Greek Catholic bishops, recognizing as well the persecution that Greek Catholic clergy and faithful suffered in […]

by · May 22, 2019 · East
Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi (left) and Rep. Kaptur at the award ceremony in 2017

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) is not supporting Orbán anymore

On January 24, 2017, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit by Hungary. The award was presented in Washington D.C. with great fanfare by Orbán loyalist Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi and Kaptur expressed her support for the Budapest government. Hungarian taxpayer’s money was not spared. The award ceremony was preceded by a piano concert […]

by · May 18, 2019 · Politics
Back Seat: Pope Francis with Argentinians in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta. Photo source: Franciscan Ponderings

A bishop in the pews

István Gégény, the editor of a Hungarian-language Catholic blog entitled SZEMlélek, explores why it’s worth remembering that religious leaders–be they parish priests or bishops–are people too. Just like members of their congregation, they struggle to live their faith in the everyday. HFP offers this English-language translation of Mr. Gégény’s piece, entitled “Püspök a padban“, or “A bishop in the pews.” […]

by · May 16, 2019 · Culture
Nemzeti Légió. Photo: MTI.

The National Legion — Far-right launches new paramilitary group in Hungary

The Mi Hazánk, or in English the Our Homeland far-right party announced the formation of a paramilitary group called the National Legion on 14 May 2019. This new group follows in the footsteps of the banned Magyar Gárda, once the paramilitary wing of the Jobbik party–back when it represented the hard right in Hungary. The Gárda, whose uniform closely resembled […]

by · May 15, 2019 · Politics
Viktor Orbán with Donald Trump in May 2019.

Viktor Orbán gets his day in Washington and displays his skill as a communicator

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán last sat next to an American president in the Oval Office 21 years ago, in 1998. At the time, the 35 year old Mr. Orbán, serving his first four year term at the helm of the Hungarian government, sat in the company of President Bill Clinton. Mr. Orbán had then just completed his transformation from an […]

by · May 13, 2019 · Focus
American concern about Hungary’s downward democratic trajectory

American concern about Hungary’s downward democratic trajectory

The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is concerned about “Hungary’s downward democratic trajectory” and issued the following letter about Viktor Orbán’s upcoming visit to the White House. Four US Senators, among them ranking member Robert Menendez signed the letter. Not too long ago, in 2012 Senator Menendez actually praised Hungary’s democracy and politicians of the Orbán government, among […]

by · May 12, 2019 · Politics
Andrew Neil (left) interviews Ben Shapiro (right) on the BBC...and Mr. Shapiro walks out minutes after this exchange.

What Ben Shapiro’s frenzied reaction to a BBC interview tells us about political tribalism

Historians will credit Prime Minister Viktor Orbán with having been ahead of his time on the nature of political discourse and on the populist transformation of what was once called conservatism. Mr. Orbán has avoided all debates with his political opponents since 2006 and finessed the tribal approach to politics that was only adopted by others in North America and […]

by · May 11, 2019 · Politics
All smiles – Orbán with Eshaq Jahangiri, Iran’s First Vice President.

Pro-Iranian Viktor Orbán will visit President Trump in the White House

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s voice is the only heard in Hungary today and his rhetoric is firmly anti–Islamist. At the same time, Mr. Orbán maintains close and friendly relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran is a theocracy. Islam is an inseparable part of the political structure and the government is based on sharia or Islamic law. Iran is […]

by · May 10, 2019 · East
Polish nationalist activist Sławomir Dul hangs an effigy of late communist politician Jakub Berman, captioned 'Jew,' in Lodz on April 30. 2019

Two examples of contemporary Polish antisemitism

Ever since I read Jerzy Kosiński’s 1965 novel The Painted Bird, I was freed from any misconception that antisemitism in Hungary is unique or somehow more odious than that appearing elsewhere in Central Europe. In fact, in some ways, Poland’s religiosity may have contributed to a particularly fervid form of hatred. In The Painted Bird, we follow the story of a […]

by · May 9, 2019 · Antisemitism
Csíksomlyó pilgrimage near Şumuleu Ciuc in Romania.

Hungary’s Jesuits and Orbán’s attempt to exploit Pope Francis’s visit to Romania

Hungary’s Catholic leadership is firmly behind Orbán, in fact, church events often serve as political tools to spread Orbán’s nationalist message in the Carpathian basin. Pope Francis plans to visit Romania and is expected to celebrate an outdoor Mass on June 1, 2019 at the shrine of Our Lady of Csíksomlyó, a pilgrimage site near Şumuleu Ciuc, Romania. This is […]

by · May 6, 2019 · Culture