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Pope on plane: I fear generation of jobless youth

July 22, 2013

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis is winging his way to Brazil, and voicing concern about an entire generation of youths growing up jobless and isolated.

Francis chatted with some 70 journalists, one by one, for an hour Monday as he was flying from Rome to Rio de Janeiro to start a weeklong pilgrimage highlighted by a church youth jamboree.

Francis said there is a “risk of having a generation that hasn’t worked,” even though work confers dignity. He also decried isolating the elderly, saying they shouldn’t be “thrown away” by consumer cultures that demand everything new.

One journalist joked that Francis was stepping into a “lion’s den” of media in the back of the plane, but afterward the pope said: “The lions weren’t so fierce.”

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