Pope Francis: Europe is 'elderly and haggard'

Pope Francis: Europe is 'elderly and haggard'
(Image credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Pope Francis delivered an address to the European Parliament on Tuesday, saying the continent is "elderly and haggard." His comments were a response to Europe's struggles with youth unemployment, migrants from Africa and the Middle East, and conflict at its eastern borders, The Wall Street Journal reports.

"We encounter a general impression of weariness and aging, of a Europe that is now a 'grandmother,' no longer fertile and vibrant," Pope Francis told the parliament. Francis is the first pope to visit the European Parliament since John Paul II in 1988, and the first non-European pope to do so in centuries.

Pope Francis went on to criticize the European Union for abandoning the "peace and fellowship" of the EU after World War II. He said that Europe must "promote policies that create employment" by "joining market flexibility with the need for stability and security."

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