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Democracy needs to be taught to children, says Pope Francis.

“Democracy is in poor health,” says Pope Francis.

Democracy is not in good shape, Pope Francis said on Sunday (07/07), urging politicians to avoid populism and instead work together to build stronger societies and combat voter indifference .

The 87-year-old pope was in the northeastern city of Trieste for a quick visit – his fourth trip to Italy in just over two months as he prepares for a 12-day tour of Asia in September, the longest of his papacy.

Speaking at an annual Catholic convention on social issues, the pope said many people felt excluded from democracy, with the poor and weak left to their own devices.

“It is clear that democracy is not in good health in today’s world,” he said. A healthy democracy must avoid “the dross of ideology” and move away from partisanship to instead embrace meaningful dialogue, he said.

“Let us not be fooled by easy solutions. Instead, let us be passionate about the very general ,” he said, highlighting the damage caused by political “ prevarication and illegality.”

Democracy needs to be taught to children, says the pontiff

Pope Francis said it was important to teach children the value of democratic values, warning that “indifference is a cancer of democracy.” “I am concerned about the small number of people who turned out to vote. Why is this happening?” he asked.

The half-day visit to Trieste followed similar trips to Venice and Verona in April and May, and a meeting with Group of Seven leaders in southern Italy in June — outings that tested his resilience after repeated illnesses over the past year forced the pope to reduce his workload .

As usual, the pontiff moved around mostly in a wheelchair and appeared to be in good shape. In September, he is due to fly more than 32,000 km on his trip to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Singapore.

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