Pope Describes Europe as ‘Elderly and Haggard’ Pontiff Says Continent Needs New Sense of Purpose
Pope Francis called for Europe to find a new sense of purpose, describing the Continent as “elderly and haggard” as it struggles with high youth unemployment, waves of migrants from strife-torn countries in Africa and the Middle East and conflict on its eastern borders.
The pope made the remarks Tuesday in an address to the European Parliament, the first pontifical visit to the body since a 1988 trip by St. John Paul II. In his address, Pope Francis—the first non-European pope in centuries—touched on the crisis of confidence afflicting a region struggling to forge a new economic and social model in the wake of a debilitating downturn.
“We encounter a general impression of weariness and aging, of a Europe that is now a ‘grandmother,’ no longer fertile and vibrant”