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By The Associated Press

Pope Francis urged prayers for Greece and its people Wednesday, saying the country was weathering a "keenly felt human and social crisis."

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement the situation over Greece's expired bailout program was "worrying."

Lombardi said the dignity of Greeks must be paramount in any decisions that emerge from the crisis. He added: "The Holy Father wishes to convey his closeness to all the Greek people, with a special thought for the many families gravely beset by such a complex and keenly felt human and social crisis."

He said the pope was urging the faithful "to unite in prayer for the good of the beloved Greek people."

Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives for his general audience at St Peter's square on June 17 at the Vatican.Alberto Pizzoli / AFP via Getty Images