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Pope Francis arrives in Strasbourg to address European Parliament and Council of Europe

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Pope Francis is visiting Strasbourg where he will address the European Parliament and Council of Europe on social and economic issues.

The Pope is expected to speak about anti-immigration sentiment and unemployment during his four-hour trip.

Many of Strasbourg’s Catholics are upset that he will not meet them or visit the city’s cathedral.


Some Catholics have accused the Pope of neglecting Europe since his election in 2013.

Pope Francis visited the Italian island of Lampedusa in July 2013 to meet and pray for illegal immigrants, and went to Albania in September. The Pope has said that he is planning a second visit to France in 2015.

Residents of Strasbourg have been told they can watch both of the pontiff’s speeches on a giant screen that will be installed inside the cathedral, which is celebrating its millennial anniversary.

Pope Francis is making the second papal visit to Strasbourg after Pope John Paul II visited the city in 1988.

Pope John Paul II addressed the European parliament where he was heckled by Northern Irish MEP the Rev Ian Paisley.

During his speech the late Pope called Europe “a beacon of civilization”.

However, Pope Francis has called Europe a “tired” continent which worships the “idol of money”.

In Strasbourg, Pope Francis is expected to call for greater tolerance and inclusion in response to the success nationalist parties have seen in parts of Europe.

In May, several of these parties performed strongly in the European parliamentary elections.

Pope Francis is also thought likely to address Europe’s ongoing economic crisis and the social problems that it has created.

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