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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his wife, Anikó Lévai, paid their respects at the catafalque of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Tuesday.
The prime minister and his wife prayed for the late pope and for mourning Christians, Bertalan Havasi, the PM’s press chief, said. The funeral service of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died on Saturday, will be held in Vatican City on Thursday. Hungarian President Katalin Novák will be in attendance, along with other heads of state and government. The president will be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén, according to information from the president’s office.
In a telegram of condolences sent to the Vatican on Saturday, Orbán said the late pope would be remembered for his courage and commitment for the dialogue among religions.
The prime minister recalled his private audience with Benedict XVI in 2010, saying the talks on faith, the sanctity of family and of the protection of “our common Christian roots” had shaped his views since.
“Now, at a time of bereavement, we join in the prayers and express our heartfelt condolences to the clergy of the Catholic Church and its congregation,” Orbán said in the message.