“We see the cross as a sign of hope rather than a symbol of death,” Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom- Budapest said. “Suffering in itself is not a message but if it is an expression of love for God and our fellow human beings, it is indeed a reason for us to rejoice,” the head of Hungary’s Catholic Church said in an interview in daily Magyar Hírlap. “This is a very strong message for the modern people: physical inconvenience, exhaustion or even pain are not the worst evils in this world, and we must remember that man does not live for momentary wellbeing alone but has an eternal mission. Thus, we need to see the moments of our life as part of a broader context,” the cardinal said.
Erdő also talked about how people must be addressed in different ways in different times. “Today we live in an audiovisual age, which has an impact on people: they find it more difficult to think in an abstract way or read long texts. Instead, we like to communicate with strong symbols. However, this is not alien to Christianity at all as the spread of faith was helped by the strength of symbols in the very beginning,” the cardinal said. Cardinal Erdő also talked about the persecution of Christians today. “In many places it takes a really brutal shape and it is important that we, Christians, are a single body, and none of the parts can be wounded without causing harm to the whole entity,” he said. “We only have our modest human means to help but we must do what we can,” he added.