Russian Patriarch Kirill awards Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Semjén
September 28. 2022. – 09:39 AM
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow awarded Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister, Zsolt Semjén with the Second Degree of the Order of Glory and Honour. The award was presented to the Deputy Prime Minister by Metropolitan Hilarion of Budapest-Hungary. The ceremony took place two weeks ago, but since the Hungarian government did not make a big deal of the award, it was only on Tuesday that hvg.hu discovered the news on the not too busy website of the Hungarian Orthodox Diocese.
The award ceremony was held on 13 September, at a "Hungarian government building" (it was not specified which one exactly), where Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén was presented with the second degree of the Order of Glory and Honour.
The citation reveals that it was Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia who found the Hungarian politician worthy of the honour, commemorating Semjén's 60th birthday and recognising his "assistance to the Diocese of Budapest-Hungary".
Although the nature of the assistance was not specified in the text, Semjén and the Hungarian government did a big favour not only to the Hungarian diocese, but to Patriarch Kirill himself in May, when Hungary threatened to veto the sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia unless the punitive measures against Patriarch Kirill of Moscow were left out of the package. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has consistently supported the invasion of Ukraine and served Vladimir Putin's policies. Since EU decisions require the consensus of all 27 member states, the Commission had to give in to Hungary's demands, despite the reluctance of EU politicians.
In his tribute, Metropolitan Hilarion also pointed out that the Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister is committed to ensuring that Christian spiritual values remain the basis for the country's development and the well-being of its people.
In his response, Mr Semjén expressed his sincere gratitude to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church and stressed that he sees his work for the country as a service to Christ.
According to hvg.hu, the Order of Glory and Honour was founded in 2004 by the decision of Patriarch Alexy II and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is usually awarded to heads of state and government, leaders of international and intergovernmental organizations, leaders of churches and denominations, outstanding public figures "for their significant contribution to interchurch and interreligious cooperation, peace and friendship between peoples".
The Order has three degrees, and Semjén was awarded the II degree – the II and III degrees have only existed since 2009, as until then the order only had one degree. The award consists of a star, a ribbon and a certificate. The parts which are pinned on the chest and those worn around the neck are made of silver, gilded and enamelled and depict a dove with an olive branch in its beak. The medal bears the motto of the Order – the words of the Apostle Paul: "Glory and honour to him who does good".
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The translation of this article was made possible by our cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation.