The Pope landed in Strasbourg shortly before 10 am this Monday for a quick visit to the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, reports the global news agency AFP. Pope Francis will deliver a formal speech at each of the two institutions during his four-hour tour, the shortest ever tour abroad made by a pope.
The Pope stepped off the plane wearing a white coat and was greeted by a very brief ceremony.
During the visit, he is expected to encourage Europe to generate new momentum faced with the recession and increasing isolationism. There will be no walkabouts or outings, much to the disappointment of the local Catholics, who will nevertheless be able to glimpse him on one of the 2 giant screens inside Strasbourg Cathedral. A area was also secured in front of the Council of Europe, from which some 2,500 people should be able to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis.