Pope Francis warned against vaccine nationalism
Pope Francis On Covid Vaccines: ‘The Most Vulnerable And Needy Must Be First’ | NBC News NOW
Pontiff in his Christmas message urged countries to cooperate more in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
Pope Francis said in his Christmas message on Friday that politicians and business leaders should not let market forces and patent laws take precedence over making COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone. The Pontiff also condemned nationalism and the “virus of radical individualism”.
Under quarantine, Francis delivered his traditional message Urbi et Orbi (“To the City and the World”) from the pulpit in the Vatican, and not from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica in front of tens of thousands of people who usually gather in St. Peter’s Square.
The theme of the pandemic and its socio-economic consequences prevailed in the message, in which Francis called for global unity and assistance to countries suffering from conflicts and humanitarian crises..
“At this historic moment, marked by an environmental crisis and a severe economic and social imbalance exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, it is all the more important for us to recognize each other as brothers and sisters,” he said..
Emphasizing that health care is a global problem, the pontiff warned against so-called “vaccine nationalism,” which UN officials fear will worsen the pandemic if poor countries get the vaccine last..
“I ask all heads of state, companies and international organizations to promote cooperation, not competition, to find a solution for everyone – vaccines for everyone – especially for the most vulnerable and needy in all regions of the planet,” said the Primate of the Roman Catholic Church.
“The most vulnerable and needy should be first,” he said in the Hall of Blessings, where around 50 Vatican officials sat in masks around the perimeter walls..
“We cannot put ourselves above others, putting market forces and patent laws above the laws of love and human health,” Francis said. “We cannot allow closed nationalism to prevent us from living like a real human family that we are.”.
Pope Francis also apparently meant in his criticism of people who refuse to wear masks because it allegedly violates their freedom. Examples of this attitude are evident in various countries, including the United States..
“And we also cannot let the virus of radical individualism prevail over us and make us indifferent to the suffering of other brothers and sisters,” he said..
Italy will have tight quarantine restrictions and curfews throughout most of the Christmas and New Year holidays. Restrictions mean people will not be able to visit St Peter’s Square or the Basilica during papal events that have been moved indoors.
Christmas is primarily a time to help others, because Jesus himself was born an outcast, Francis said Thursday night during Christmas Mass, which began two hours earlier so that few of the worshipers could return home before curfew (until 22 : 00).
“Then may the Child of Bethlehem help us to be generous, supportive and helpful, especially towards those who are vulnerable, sick, unemployed or struggling due to the economic impact of the pandemic, as well as women who have suffered domestic violence during these months of isolation.” – Pope Francis said in his message on Friday.
He then called for reconciliation in Syria, Yemen, Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Sudan, Nigeria, Cameroon and Iraq, which he intends to visit in early March..
The Pontiff also asked for comfort for those suffering from humanitarian crises or natural disasters in Burkina Fasso, Mali, Niger, the Philippines and Vietnam..