Pope Francis on Friday condemned abortion as "senseless" and gender ideology as a perversion of true human freedom.
"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," the Pope said in a speech to government leaders, including Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, during a three-day visit to Budapest.
"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," he added.
He also urged a rejection of "self-referential forms of populism" and strictly nationalist interests and called for a return to the "European soul" envisioned by those who laid the groundwork for modern Europe after World War II, saying nations had to "look beyond national boundaries."
Later, addressing bishops, priests and nuns in St. Stephen's Cathedral, Francis urged Hungarians to confront "the rapid pace of social change and the crisis of faith affecting our Western culture."
Abortion is legal in Hungary up to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and is permissible up to 24 weeks under certain conditions.
The visit comes as the European Union's Parliament continues to put pressure on Hungary to counter what EU lawmakers consider a deterioration in the rule of law and democratic principles under Orbán's government, including rolling back the rights of LGBTQ+ people.
Hungary's constitution, approved unilaterally by Orbán's right-wing populist Fidesz Party in 2011, outlaws same-sex marriage, and the government has prohibited same-sex couples from adopting children. The government has also outlawed the depiction of homosexuality or divergent gender identities to minors in media content.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.
Solange Reyner ✉
Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.
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