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article imagePope offers hope and encouragement to people of Sardinia, Italy

By Andrew Ellis     Sep 23, 2013 in World
Cagliari - Since being chosen, Pope Francis has made it a priority to reach out to the ones suffering the most. On Sunday, he reached out to the people who have been hit the hardest by Italy's dire economic situation.
Francis traveled to Sardinia, Italy on Sunday to offer words of hope and encouragement to the people who have been hit especially hard by the country's current economic crisis, according to The Street.
The Star Tribune reported that instead of using his notes he shared a story about his Italian parents who had immigrated to Argentina before they had him. "My young father went to Argentina full of illusions of making it in America. He suffered the terrible crisis of the 1930s. They lost everything. There was no work."
He also said, according to The Street, that he realized how easy it was for a priest to tell the poor to have courage, but he assured them he was being sincere. In the middle of people shouting "Lavaro! Lavaro!" (Work! Work!) Francis called for dignified work for all.
The Huffington Post said that Sardinia is known for its "pristine beaches and swank vacations," but the affect of Italy's economic crisis has been forcing a still-growing number of families to "seek charity." The article also mentioned that the city's desperation made headlines last year when a coal miner slit his wrists on TV. He was part of a sit-in protest underground that was aimed at the closing of the mine.
The struggling country's unemployment rate, according to The Star Tribune, is at 12% with youth unemployment at 39.5%. Sardinia and the rest of the country's south, including its islands, is near 20% with youth employment at 50%.
The Street reported that Francis said to the crowd, a lot of whom were wearing their hardhats from the jobs they used to have before the factories shutdown, that they were not alone. He added that the reason for this crisis is because of a worldwide economy whose system "at its center has an idol called money."
This is only the second city the pope has visited outside of Rome. He first visited Lampedusa, an isolated island where thousands of migrants arrive from the shore every year, according to The Huffington Post.
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