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Pope says he erred in overlooking middle class in Latin America speeches

By Ed Adamczyk
Pope says he erred in overlooking middle class in Latin America speeches
Pope Francis returned to Rome Sunday after a trip to Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay. File Photo by Stefano Spaziani/UPI | License Photo

VATICAN CITY, July 13 (UPI) -- Pope Francis, returning from a Latin American visit in which he regularly spoke on the plight of the poor, acknowledged he erred in neglecting the middle class.

A reporter aboard the plane returning to Rome on Sunday evening noted the pope's speeches in Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay concentrated on exploitation of the world's poor but left no message for the middle class.

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"Thank you," the pope replied. "It's a good correction, thanks. You are right. It's an error of mine not to think about this."

In what amounted to a post-trip press conference, Pope Francis said he has little knowledge of economics but suggested Greece, a country staggered by enormous financial liability, must be responsible for its debt. He added, though, that the "road of loans and debts, in the end, never ends." He took care not to tarnish, with comments, a successful trip to Latin America, and avoided speculation regarding his upcoming September visit to Cuba and the United States.

As is his custom, he visited Rome's Basilica of Saint Mary Major to pray after his arrival at Ciampino Airport, before returning to the Vatican.

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