Diplomatic relations between Hungary and the Holy See resumed in February 1990 after a period during the Cold War in which dialogue was maintained, Eduard Habsburg-Lorraine, Hungary’s ambassador to the Holy See, said in a statement. Habsburg-Lorraine said on the rare occasions he addressed the pontiff, “Pope Francis replied in Hungarian, saying God bless.”
He noted that ties between Hungary and the papal state are more than a thousand years old, and this year marks the 100th anniversary of modern-day diplomatic relations, as the first nuncio began a stable mission in Budapest and the Hungarian Embassy in Holy See opened in Rome in 1920.
Seventy-five years ago, diplomatic ties were broken, in April 1945, when Nuncio Angelo Rota had to leave Budapest, he noted. But diplomatic dialogue never ceased, he added. The re-establishment of formal diplomatic relations was confirmed in February 1990. Since then, milestones include visits to Hungary by John Paul II in 1991 and 1996, and in 2001 the Vatican Museum hosted an exhibition dedicated to the thousand years of Hungarian Christianity.
As the holder of the European Union’s rotating presidency in 2011, Hungary organised a festive concert in the Vatican for Pope Benedict. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of interstate relations, President János Áder will be visiting the Vatican, Habsburg-Lorraine said, noting that Áder was last received there by Pope Francis in September 2013.