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Angela Merkel says she ‘can’t remember’ calling Pope Francis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office has said she does not recall phoning Pope Francis to express her anger at Pope Francis’s speech in which he compared Europe to a “barren woman”.

“The chancellor does not recall a phone call with the Pope,” a spokesman for Merkel told AFP, adding that she always “values any meeting with him extremely”.

On Monday, Pope Francis told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera newspaper that Merkel had phoned him after his speech to the European parliament in November 2014 in which he said Europe is “now a ‘grandmother’, no longer fertile and vibrant.”