In the almost empty St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis on Easter Sunday (4) asked the international community for the rapid distribution of Covid vaccines, especially to poor countries, and described armed conflicts and military spending as ” scandalous “during the pandemic.
With the coronavirus, this was the second year in a row that Easter celebrations had been emptied – there was only a small group of people at a secondary altar in the basilica during mass, rather than crowds in the church or in the square outside.
“The pandemic is still in full swing, the social and economic crisis is very serious, especially for the poorest; and despite everything – and it is scandalous – the armed conflicts do not cease and the military arsenals are strengthening”, criticized the pope during his homily, before the Urbi et Orbi blessing (to the city and to the world).
On the conflicts, he cited Syria, “where millions of people currently live in inhuman conditions”, Yemen, “whose vicissitudes are surrounded by deafening and scandalous silence”, and Libya, “where the ‘we finally see the start of a decade of conflicts and bloody confrontations.
Francisco, who has often called for disarmament and a total ban on the possession of nuclear weapons, said: “There are still a lot of wars and a lot of violence in the world. May the Lord, who is our peace, help us overcome the war mentality. “
In addition to populations suffering from conflicts, the Pope dedicated Mass to the most vulnerable, sick and migrants from Covid-19.
After paying tribute to the doctors and nurses on the front line of the pandemic, the Pope recalled that vaccines are an essential tool in this fight, and called on the international community to commit to catching up with the delays in distribution.
Francisco, who would normally have delivered the speech in front of up to 100,000 people in St. Peter’s Square, addressed fewer than 200 people at the church as the message spread to tens of millions of people around the world. world.
The square was empty except for a few police officers who imposed a rigid three-day national blockade.