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Pope calls for Europe to show pandemic ‘solidarity’

Pope Francis arrives at the Cathedral of Saint Martin, in Bratislava, Slovakia, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Pope Francis arrives at the Cathedral of Saint Martin, in Bratislava, Slovakia, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Pope Francis calls for Europe to show “solidarity” around the world during economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, speaking on a visit to Slovakia — one of the worst-hit countries in Europe.

On his first foreign trip since a colon operation in July, the 84-year-old Argentine pontiff calls the pandemic “the great test of our own time.”

“It has taught us how easy it is, even when we are all in the same boat, to withdraw and think only of ourselves,” he says.

Slovakia, a European Union member with a population of 5.4 million, had the highest per capita COVID-19 contagion and mortality rates in the world for several weeks this year.

The pope is due to meet with members of Slovakia’s Jewish community later today, a day after warning that anti-Semitism was still “lurking” around the world.

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