Pope Francis urges solidarity, fraternity during trip to Slovakia

Bratislava, Sep 13 (EFE).- Pope Francis on Monday encouraged solidarity and openness during a speech at the presidential palace in the Slovakian capital Bratislava.

On the second day of his three-day visit to Slovakia, the pontiff stressed that fraternity is what is needed to achieve integration in times of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, as well as many other difficulties.

Francis said that instead of “withdrawing and thinking only of ourselves, we should set out anew, realizing that all of us are frail and in need of others.  None can stand apart, either as individuals or as a nation.”

Francis, 84, arrived in Slovakia Sunday following a quick trip to Hungary, where he met prime minister Viktor Orban and urged people to be respectful and open during the closing Mass of the International Eucharistic Congress.

The pope, who was welcomed by Slovak President Zuzana Caputova, is expected to meet clergy and representatives of the Jewish community in Slovakia, as well as visit the Bethlehem Center for the homeless in Bratislava.

Francis’ four-day tour of central and eastern Europe is the first after his colon operation in July. EFE


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