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Pope prays as he leads vigil for peace in Syria

Pope speaks out about the ‘moral decay’ in Italy’s capital

Rome’s prostitution and queues of people outside a soup kitchen are signs of moral decline, Pope Francis said when condemning the ‘moral decay’ of the city of Rome.

“It made me sick. But even more so to see the powerful cars driven by old men pull up,” he told the newspaper’s Vatican correspondent Franca Giansoldati in a recent interview with Rome daily Il Messaggero.

The Pontiff also hit out at political corruption, joblessness and Europe’s low birth rates. He claimed that many Europeans found it easier to own pets than raise children.

The Pope spoke of the ‘tremendous pain’ he felt about the darker sides of the streets of his adopted home as an example of modern society’s failings.

“The Eternal City, which should be a beacon to the world, is a mirror of the moral decay of society,” he said.

The Pope expressed the view that communists had ‘stolen’ the flag of Christianity.

Asked whether he was more afraid of the moral degradation, or the material poverty of a city, Francis said that both made him ‘afraid,’ adding that people were having to turn to soup kitchens in Rome in order to feed their families.

“An auxiliary bishop of Rome told me that many people go to the soup kitchen and in secret, full of shame, take home food,” he said.

 

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