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Pope Francis greets disabled youth while leaving the Council of Europe

2014-11-25

Only 250 feet separate the European Parliament from the Council of Europe. While other  visits usually have him surrounded by people, this time he was flanked by a large security detail. 

Pope Francis arrived at 12:30, where he was welcomed by the Council's president, Thorbjørn Jagland.

While formal protocol was followed during his visit, some people just couldn't contain their excitement at seeing him. 

As in the European Parliament, Pope Francis signed the book of honor of the Council of Europe. There was also an exchange of gifts, in which the Pope gave a medallion of the Angel of Peace. 

Upon entering the chamber, the members of the Council of Europe welcomed Pope Francis with a standing ovation. 

Founded in 1949, this European institution oversees the protection of democracy, human rights and rule of law in the continent. Among the 47 member states are Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. 

In his address, Pope Francis called on the member states to work for a peace founded on a common unity. He compared this peace to the branches of a tree whose root is the Truth. The members listened attentively to his address, that was followed with a standing ovation. 

Although the visit to Strasbourg was only a formal visit and not apostolic, the Pope had the chance to greet a few people waiting inside the Council headquarters to greet hime. 

Before boarding the car that would take him to the airport, Pope Francis greeted this young disabled person. Seeing the Pope approaching, the young man stood up to greet him. 


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