Asztrik Várszegi, the Archabbot of the Pannonhalma Abbey, led a public discussion within the iASK event series called “Science in the Pub”.
The Archabbot reflected on the role of Pope Francis and the situation of Christianity today. He drew attention to different historical contexts and addressed how the Church has perceived its role over the course of time.
He spoke about 21st century fears, like the fear of the future, the fear of freedom and the potential answers the Catholic Church can provide. He said that the Church aims, primarily, to provide possibilities for all of humankind.
Most commenters asked him to reflect on the danger of the spread of Islam in Europe. He responded by remembering an experience from 30 years ago when he participated in a conference where church representatives discussed the advance of Islam. He said that even three decades ago this matter was of crucial importance. The Archabbot emphasized the importance of openness and dialogue with other religions.