Pope Francis slams gender ideology, abortion during visit to Hungary

On Friday, Pope Frances denounced abortion and gender ideology in an address to civil authorities in Hungary. In the speech he said, "This is the baneful path taken by those forms of 'ideological colonization' that would cancel differences, as in the case of the so-called gender theory, or that would place before the reality of life reductive concepts of freedom, for example by vaunting as progress a senseless 'right to abortion,' which is always a tragic defeat."

According to a report from the Catholic News Agency, abortion is currently legal in Hungary for up to 12 weeks and up to 24 weeks under certain conditions. It is also required for a woman to first hear the fetal heartbeat within that window. 

Leaders in Hungary have been creating incentives to help boost the country's birth rates with family-centered initiatives which give bonuses up to $33,000 for married couples who have three children. 

During his remarks, Pope Frances spoke of the idea of Hungary acting as "a bridge builder" while discussing a new family centric vision for Europe.

Pope Frances said, "How much better it would be to build a Europe centered on the human person and on its peoples, with effective policies for natality and the family, policies that are pursued attentively in this country, a Europe whose different nations would form a single family that protects the growth and uniqueness of each of its members."

The pope is in Hungary for three days, meeting with the country's leadership and citizens. In a speech on his second day he addressed close to 600 people and said that Jesus brought "glad tidings to the poor" and "those in need, let us never forget, are at the heart of the Gospel."

Since the beginning of the Ukraine War over 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees have been welcomed in Hungary, to which Pope Francis thanked the Hungarian people.

"Thank you too, for having welcomed, not only with generosity but also with enthusiasm, so many refugees from Ukraine," the pope said.

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