Pope says arms spending amid Covid ‘scandalous’ in Easter message

Pope says arms spending amid COVID ‘scandalous’ in Easter message
Pope Francis delivers a blessing after celebrating Easter Mass. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Pope Francis to quicken distribution of coronavirus vaccines, specially to the world’s poor, and called military spending and armed conflict during a pandemic “scandalous”. Pope Francis has urged this in his Easter message.

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant this has been the consecutive second year that Easter papal services have been attended by small gatherings at a secondary altar of St Peter’s Basilica, instead of by large crowds in the church or the square outside.

After saying Mass on Sunday, the Pope read his Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world) message, in which he traditionally appeals for peace and reviews world problems.

Pope Francis said: “The pandemic is still spreading, while the social and economic crisis remains severe, especially for the poor. Nonetheless – and this is scandalous – armed conflicts have not ended and military arsenals are being strengthened.”

St Peter’s Square was empty except for a few police officers enforcing a strict three-day national coronavirus lockdown.

The pope asked God to comfort the sick, the unemployed and those who have lost a loved one, urging authorities to give families in greatest need a “decent sustenance”.

He sympathised with young people unable to attend school, praised medical workers and said everyone was called to combat the pandemic.

The pope said vaccination is “an essential tool” in the fight against the virus.

He added: “I urge the entire international community, in a spirit of global responsibility, to commit to overcoming delays in the distribution of vaccines and to facilitate their distribution, especially in the poorest countries.”

You may read: Italy returns to strict coronavirus lockdown for Easter