Pope urges Greek bishops to encourage hope

Vatican Radio has said the pope called on the bishops to reinforce the cultural traditions and Christian roots of Hellenic society in Greece

Vatican Radio has said the pope called on the bishops to reinforce the cultural traditions and Christian roots of Hellenic society in Greece

VATICAN - Pope Francis has urged Greek bishops to encourage everyone in Greece to have hope in the future as opposed to a “culture of pessimism” during the country’s economic crisis.

The pope made the request in his meeting in Rome Thursday with Greek bishops on their ad limina -- a visit during which bishops give an account of the state of their dioceses.

Vatican Radio said the pope called on the bishops to reinforce the cultural traditions and Christian roots of Hellenic society, and be open to cultural and spiritual values brought by migrants, regardless of their race, language, faith or legal standing.

Greece for years has been gripped in an economic crisis. Athens negotiated a $240 billion bail-out with Eurozone countries, European Central Bank and International Monetary fund, on condition of austerity measures, to rescue its economy from a sovereign default.

A new anti-bail out government headed by leftist leader Alexis Tsipras came to power last week in Greece. Prime Minister Tsipras and Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis were now engaged in several negotiations for a new deal on the bail-out programme.

Copyright © 2015 Anadolu Agency