Monday, August 21, 2023, the third day of the visit of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II to Hungary, witnessed his Holiness receiving an honorary doctorate from Bazman Peter Catholic University (Founded in 1635), in a grand ceremony held at the university’s headquarters in the capital, Budapest, in the presence of Mr. Chamien Gault, the Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister and a number of Hungarian officials, the Egyptian Ambassador to Hungary, Ambassador Mohamed El-Shennawy, members of the embassy, and the President and Council of the University, the church delegation accompanying His Holiness , along with H.G. Bishop Angaelos, Bishop of London, H.G. Bishop Stephanos, Bishop of Beba, Fashn
H.G. Bishop Pavlos, Bishop of Greece, and H.G.Bishop Marc, Bishop of Paris and Northern France.
Professor Toshka Laszlo, Professor of Arabic Language at the University of Budapest, gave a speech, during which he spoke about the march of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II from his birth until now, and referred to the political events that Egypt had gone through since 2011, focusing on the events of the June 30, 2013 revolution and the meeting on July 3 in which he participated, which was His Holiness Pope Tawadros, along with army leaders, Sheikh Al-Azhar and intellectuals.
Professor Toshka addressed the sacrifices made by His Holiness and the Coptic Orthodox Church over the past years, then summarized the utterance of granting His Holiness an honorary doctorate, saying:
“Through his work in Christian education and social development, he took on responsibility for the service of all humanity. Therefore, as we are aware with pleasure and gratitude of the impact of this work on the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church, we consider it an honour for us to celebrate the Pope of Alexandria and the Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, and we are honoured to accept Pope Tawadros II among the doctors of Bazman University Peter.”
For his part, His Holiness expressed, in his speech, his pleasure in receiving a PhD, then H.H. spoke about Egypt, pointing out that it is a unique country with a civilization that extends back seven thousand years, and he quoted the saying: “Egypt came, and then history came after it.”
He also talked about the New Administrative Capital, describing it as the most prestigious smart city, and that it contains the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ, which is the largest in the Middle East, and talked about building the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is the largest cultural museum to display the ancient Egyptian civilization, inviting those present to visit the museum after its opening in the next few months.
His Holiness valued the role of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Christian education and community development, and dealt with five types of love, which are: love of God the Creator, love of nature and everything in it, love of the other (man), love of the homeland, and love of heaven and eternity.
After the end of the speech, the President of the University, Prof. Kominatz Geza, presented the document granting the University an honorary doctorate degree to His Holiness the Pope, amid warm applause from the audience.
The doctorate handing over ceremony was followed by a press conference by His Holiness at the university’s headquarters before he left surrounded by reverence, respect and appreciation.
Mrs. Katelyn Novak, President of the Republic of Hungary, received His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the delegation accompanying His Holiness, at the Republican Palace in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, in the presence of Ambassador Mohamed El-Shennawy, Ambassador of Egypt to Hungary, and a number of members of the embassy.
During the meeting, the President of Hungary expressed her thanks and appreciation to His Holiness for accepting the invitation of the Hungarian government to visit Hungary on this important occasion, which is the celebration of the country’s National Day.
For his part, H.H. expressed his great happiness with this visit and the hospitality he received from everyone in Hungary, thanking the President of the Republic for this kind invitation, and for granting His Holiness the honorary doctorate of Bazman Peter University.