Pellegrini: Positives Lacking in Archbishop’s Sermon at Pilgrimage

Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (centre) at the National Pilgrimage of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Nitra on July 5. Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (SNS) on Pellegrini's left-hand side and Nitra Mayor Jozef Dvonc on his right-hand side. (Photo by TASR)

Nitra, July 5 (TASR) – Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD), who attended the National Pilgrimage of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Nitra on Thursday, a national holiday in Slovakia, told journalists that Greek Catholic Archbishop of Presov Jan Babjak’s key sermon lacked “positives to encourage the nation and infuse a bit of optimism”.

Babjak in the sermon recalled the double murders of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend in February, stressing that the nation finally wants to hear the truth amid “corruption, clientelism, the abuse of European funds, fraud and mafia practices”. He further stated that Slovakia needs strong spiritual and secular leaders to protect it from outside attempts to interfere with its moral values; for example, concerning marriage.

Nevertheless, according to the prime minister, more optimism was needed in the sermon. “I feel that we lament too much and talk negatively, while forgetting to acknowledge what has been done, and to praise our Slovak nation for its diligence, humility, respectful behaviour and friendliness,” said Pellegrini.

“Let’s speak the truth as it is, not attempt to twist it and turn a blind eye to it, but a bit of hope always needs to be heard from podiums – be it from priests, politicians or ordinary people,” said Pellegrini, adding that days such as July 5 should encourage people to engage in honesty, respect for laws, kindness, helpfulness and optimism.