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In Greece, Pope warns of threats

Pope Francis is greeted by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias as he arrives at the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport in Athens, Greece, on December 4. | Photo Credit: AP
AP Athens: 04 December 2021 16:51 IST
Updated: 04 December 2021 21:35 IST

The Pope’s trip to the region also has focussed on the plight of asylum-seekers as some European nations harden their border control policies

Pope Francis warned on Saturday that the “easy answers” of populism and authoritarianism are threatening democracy in Europe and called for fresh dedication to promoting the common good.

Arriving in Greece, the birthplace of democracy, the Pope used a speech to Greek political and cultural leaders to warn Europe at large about the threats facing the continent. He said only robust multilateralism can address the pressing issues of the day.

“Politics needs this, in order to put common needs ahead of private interests,” he said. “Yet we cannot avoid noting with concern how today, and not only in Europe, we are witnessing a retreat from democracy.”

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Later on Saturday, the Pontiff met with the leader of Greece’s Orthodox Church, Archbishop Ieronymos, and was briefly heckled as he arrived at the archbishop’s residence.

“Pope, you are a heretic!” an elderly Orthodox priest shouted three times.

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