“I am gladly accepting your invitation. I love Hungary, and a part of my live is related to it. At present, Russians have a particular liking for Hungary, and I hope to God our relations will develop,” the patriarch told Hungarian Secretary of State for Churches, Minorities and Civil Affairs Miklos Soltesz at a Sunday meeting at the Patriarch’s Chambers of the Moscow Kremlin’s Palace of Facets.
Soltesz invited the patriarch to visit Hungary after the restorations of the Russian Cathedral of the Assumption in Budapest were over.
According to him, head of the Budapest Diocese Bishop Tikhon of Podolsk “has brought church-state relations to a whole new level and has achieved tangible results.” He also said that the Hungarian authorities were taking part in the restoration of the Assumption Cathedral in the Hungarian capital.
Speaking of the liturgy delivered by the patriarch at the Kremlin’s Assumption Cathedral on Sunday morning, Soltesz said he was stunned by the service and, being a Catholic, “had never had a mystical epiphany of such depth in his life.”
“It is wonderful that there are people of such Christian beliefs as you in the Hungarian authorities. We have a profound respect for your prime minister, his independent policy and his ability to be firm, including in the defense of Christian values. I am very glad that people like you stand by him,” Patriarch Kirill said.