Pope calls for global solidarity in Easter message

Pope calls for global solidarity amid pandemic time in Easter message
The Pope read his message at an empty St Peter's Basilica. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: In his Easter message, Pope Francis has called for global solidarity to fight the coronavirus crisis. The Pope read out his message to an empty St Peter’s Basilica.

“This is not a time for indifference. Because the whole world is suffering and needs to be united,” the pontiff said in a message broadcast online.

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church warned that the EU risked collapse and urged debt relief for poor nations.

Around the world, Easter services have been held in closed churches due to coronavirus pandemic as millions of people have been told to stay at home.

The Pope delivered his Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world) message behind closed doors amid strict lockdown measures placed in Italy, one of the countries hardest hit by the outbreak.

He urged political leaders around the globe to work “for the common good”, to help people live through the crisis and eventually resume their normal lives. The pope said this year’s “Easter of solitude” message should be a contagion of hope.

He said: “Indifference, self-centredness, division, and forgetfulness are not words we want to hear at this time. We want to ban these words forever!”

The pontiff also called for the relaxation of international sanctions without mentioning any country and praised doctors, nurses and other workers who were keeping essential services running.

This message is used to be delivered in front of tens of thousands of people gathered at the square outside the basilica. But this year’s situation is nothing normal. Pope expressed particular concern for the future of Europe. He warned that the European Union risked collapse if it did not agree on how to help the full region recover.

EU nations have been divided over how to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic, with wealthier nations including the Netherlands and Germany blocking some demands from Italy and Spain, the region’s hardest-hit so far.

It was “more important than ever” that rivalries that existed before World War Two did not “regain force”, The pontiff said, adding: “The European Union is presently facing an epochal challenge, on which will depend not only its future but that of the whole world.”

On Saturday evening at his Easter vigil service, the Pope urged people not to “yield to fear” over the virus, calling on them to be “messengers of life in a time of death”.

He recalled the Biblical account of a woman finding Jesus’s tomb empty on the day Christians believe he rose from the dead.

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