WATCH: Pope Francis leads mass in front of thousands in Budapest

·1-min read

Tens of thousands thronged a central Budapest square to hear the pope lead an open-air mass during which he urged all, including "those with political and social responsibilities", to be more open.

"Let us encourage one another to be increasingly open doors," the 86-year-old Argentine pontiff said, adding it was "sad and painful... to see closed doors".

"The closed doors of our selfishness with regard to others... the doors we close towards those who are foreign or unlike us, towards migrants or the poor," he said.

Throughout his visit to Budapest -- his second since a brief 2021 stopover -- Francis has emphasised a welcoming stance towards those fleeing poverty or conflict zones.

The comments have stood in stark contrast to those of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban who has regularly espoused anti-migration rhetoric to defend a "Christian Europe" since coming to power in 2010.

On Sunday, some 50,000 people thronged to hear the pope say mass under tight security at Kossuth Lajos Square, behind the parliament on the banks of the Danube, according to local authorities.

"I feel emotional. He is very important in my life," onlooker Ferenc Toth, 43, told AFP after the pope passed by in his popemobile.