Pope Francis spoke of global solidarity to fight the coronavirus disaster in his Easter message to learn at an empty St. Peter’s basilica.
“This is not the time for indifference. Because the whole world is suffering and must be united, ”said the pontiff in a message posted online.
He warned that the EU was in danger of collapsing and called for debt reduction for poor countries.
Across the world, companies have been held in closed church buildings while thousands upon thousands have been told to stay in their homes.
The head of the Roman Catholic Church sent his message Urbi and Orbi (to the city and to the world) behind closed doors amid the foreclosure measures imposed in Italy, one of the many nations hardest hit by the pandemic .
Declaring that the 12-month Easter message of loneliness should be a contagion of hope, he urged political leaders to work “for the common good”, to help people live during the disaster and to resume finally their normal life.
- In pictures: Easter celebrations
- “We need Easter as much as ever,” says the queen.
“This is not the time for self-centeredness because the challenge we face is shared by all,” said the pontiff in a message almost completely dominated by the results of the epidemic, which killed more than 109,000 people around the world.
“Indifference, self-centeredness, division and forgetfulness are not words that we want to hear right now. We want to ban these words forever! “, He added.
Without citing any nation, the pontiff also referred to the easing of global sanctions and congratulated the docs, nurses and the various staff who protected important working companies.
The Pope, who normally delivers the message to tens of hundreds of people gathered in the square outside the basilica, expressed his particular concern about the way forward for Europe. He warned that the European Union could collapse if it did not agree on easy methods to help the region recover.
EU nations are divided on how to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic, the wealthiest nations as well as Germany and the Netherlands blocking calls from Spain and Italy, the hardest hit regions so far.
The pontiff said it was “more important than ever” that the rivalries that existed before the Second World War “not regain strength”, in particular: not only its future but that of the whole world. “
During his Easter Eve service on Saturday evening, the Pope urged people not to “give in to fear” in the face of the virus, calling on them to be “messengers of life in time of death”.
He recalled the biblical account of a lady discovering the tomb of Jesus empty the day when Christians imagine that he is risen from the lifeless.
“And then there was the fear of the future and everything that had to be rebuilt. A painful memory, a shortened hope. For them as for us, it was the darkest hour. “