Pope Francis removes his mask as he touches worshippers and vows to defeat coronavirus with love at a ‘limited’ public audience at the Vatican as he steps up his return to normal duties
- The 83-year-old told the packed San Damaso courtyard that the coronavirus would be defeated by God’s love
- The pontiff removed his mask when he stepped out of his car, he smiled and chatted, shook hands and touched the foreheads of congregants who scrummed at the barriers for his Wednesday General Audience
- ‘The Christian response to the pandemic and to the consequent socio-economic crisis is based on love,’ Francis told the masses as he reflected on ‘Healing the World’ in his sermon
The Pope said we could emerge from the coronavirus improved by it ‘if we all seek the common good together.’
But he referred to ‘partisan interests emerging’ which showed that some just wanted to selfishly take advantage of the crisis, Vatican News reported.
‘Unfortunately, we are witnessing the emergence of partisan interests. For example, there are those who want to appropriate possible solutions for themselves, such as (developing) vaccines and then selling them to others,’ he said.
‘Some are taking advantage of the situation to foment divisions, to create economic or political advantages, to start or intensify conflict.’
As a consequence, the Argentine said it was incumbent upon Christians to love their enemies, a difficult task, but an ‘art that can be learned and improved.’
‘A virus that does not recognise barriers, borders, or cultural or political distinctions must be faced with a love without barriers, borders or distinction,’ the Pope said.
With God’s help, Francis told his flock, ‘we can heal the world,’ if we all strive alongside each other ‘for the common good.’