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Pope prays for EU unity ahead of virus conference

Pope Francis Photo: Grzegorz Galazka/Archivio Grzegorz Galazka/Mondadori Portfolio / Getty Images

Pope Francis extended a prayer Wednesday for European unity ahead of a videoconference of EU leaders aimed at addressing the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 27 leaders of the European Union will try again Thursday to forge a comprehensive plan that can help millions of families recover from weeks-long national lockdowns.

The Argentine-born pontiff urged the leaders to put aside their differences during “this tragic pandemic”.

“Let us pray for Europe today so that it can have the fraternal unity that the founding fathers of the European Union dreamed of,” Francis said in a livestreamed message from the Vatican.

The EU leaders have been unable to agree on the size and financing of the economic recovery fund.

“Only together… can we overcome global challenges,” the pope said.

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