- Feb 23, 2021
The European plazas where people would usually gather at crowded stalls to partake in hot mulled wine, gingerbread, sausages and other delicacies are just empty squares.
Soviet political prisoners from various backgrounds begged St. John Paul II’s help in secret messages after his 1978 election, according to a former inmate in recollections published for the late pope’s hundredth birthday.
Although Catholics in most East European countries have backed measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic, for some it has also revived painful memories of communist rule. Sensitivities over church closures have also surfaced in Western Europe, where some Catholics have questioned the right of civil authorities to prohibit religious worship.
Pope Francis landed in the Eastern European country of Romania on Friday, where he warned about the “hurdles” created by progress and called for “a greater collaboration” among its political and religious authorities.
The current Hungarian government under Prime Minister Viktor Orban prides itself on its conservative platform — low immigration, lots of incentives for marriage and families, and promotion of the nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage whenever possible.
As secularism mounts in Western Europe, Central and Eastern European countries still hold on to faith.