Pope: Wealthy, or any one nation, should not have priority access to vaccine
"The pandemic is a crisis and we emerge from a crisis better or worse", above all we will not emerge without focusing on that preferential option for the poor which "is not a political option", but "the centre of the Gospel". "We can nurture an economy of integral development of the poor and not of welfare. An economy that does not resort to remedies that actually poison society, such as profit dissociated from the creation of decent jobs. This type of profit is dissociated from the real economy, the one that should benefit ordinary people".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "The pandemic is a crisis and we emerge from a crisis better or worse " above all we will not emerge without focusing on that preferential option for the poor which "is not a political option", but "the centre of the Gospel.” “How sad it would be if the richest were given priority in the Covid-19 vaccine! It would be sad if it became for this or that nation and not for the whole world”.
The need to cure not only the "small virus" at the origin of the pandemic, but also the "great virus, that of social injustice, inequality of opportunity, marginalization and lack of protection of the weakest" was at the center of Pope Francis' catechesis for today's general audience, still held in the private library. In his meditation, continuing the cycle of catechesis on the theme: 'Healing the world', Francis spoke of the "Preferential option for the poor and the virtue of charity".
“The pandemic - underlined the Pope - The pandemic has exposed the plight of the poor and the great inequality that reigns in the world. And the virus, while it does not distinguish between people, has found, in its devastating path, great inequalities and discrimination. And it has exacerbated them!"
“Everyone - he said - We are all worried about the social consequences of the pandemic. All of us. Many people want to return to normality and resume economic activities. Certainly, but this “normality” should not include social injustices and the degradation of the environment". " Today we have an opportunity to build something different. For example, we can nurture an economy of the integral development of the poor, and not of welfare".
"And what a scandal it would be if all the economic assistance we are observing - most of it with public money - were to focus on rescuing those industries that do not contribute to the inclusion of the excluded, the promotion of the least, the common good or the care of creation ( ibid.). If the virus escalates again into a world unfair to the poor and most vulnerable, we must change this world”.
“Following the example of Jesus, the doctor of integral divine love, that is, of physical, social and spiritual healing (cf. Jn 5:6-9) - like the healing worked by Jesus - we must act now, to heal the epidemics caused by small, invisible viruses, and to heal those caused by the great and visible social injustices. I propose that this be done by starting from the love of God, placing the peripheries at the centre and the last in first place. Do not forget that protocol by which we will be judged, Matthew, chapter 25. Let us put it into practice in this recovery from the epidemic. And starting from this tangible love - as the Gospel says, there - anchored in hope and founded in faith, a healthier world will be possible. Otherwise, we will come out of the crisis worse. ".
"Faith, hope and love necessarily push us towards this preference for the neediest, which goes beyond even the necessary assistance (cf. EG, 198). In fact, it implies walking together, letting ourselves be evangelized by them, who know the suffering Christ well, letting ourselves be 'infected' by their experience of salvation, by their wisdom and creativity (cf. ibid.). Sharing with the poor means enriching each other. And, if there are sick social structures that prevent them from dreaming for the future, we must work together to heal them, to change them (cf. ibid., 195) ”.
“We are all concerned about the social consequences of the pandemic. Many want to return to normal and resume economic activities. Of course, but this 'normality' should not include social injustices and the degradation of the environment. The pandemic is a crisis and we emerge from a crisis better or worse. Today we have an opportunity to build something different ". "For example, we can nurture an economy of integral development of the poor and not of welfare. An economy that does not resort to remedies that actually poison society, such as profit dissociated from the creation of decent jobs. This type of profits is dissociated from the real economy, the one that should benefit ordinary people ".
"The preferential option for the poor, this ethical-social need that comes from the love of God (cf. LS, 158), gives us the impulse to think and design an economy where people, and especially the poorest, are at the centre. And it also encourages us to plan the treatment of viruses by giving priority to those who need them most".
Finally, in greeting the Poles, “I join spiritually - he said - to all those who undertake various spiritual, scientific and social initiatives to limit the effects of the pandemic on society and to meet the vital needs of the sick and their families. I ask you, be generous and do not forget the needs of the poorest and the lonely, especially the elderly and the sick "