Pope Francis: 2020 Looked Bad Even Before the Coronavirus Outbreak

Pope Francis

ROME — The year 2020 was already looking like a tough year even before the coronavirus outbreak, Pope Francis told a group of new ambassadors to the Holy See Friday.

“You are beginning your mission at a time of great challenge facing the entire human family,” the pontiff told ambassadors from Jordan, Kazakhstan, Zambia, Mauritania, Uzbekistan, Madagascar, Estonia, Rwanda, Denmark, and India.

“Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, it was clear that 2020 was going to be a year marked by urgent humanitarian needs, due to conflicts, violence and terrorism in different parts of our world,” Francis continued. “Economic crises are causing hunger and mass migration, while climate change is increasing the risk of natural disasters, famine and drought.”

The coronavirus pandemic was icing on the cake, he continued, by aggravating the world’s other crises and exacerbating inequalities.

“Indeed, the pandemic is aggravating the inequalities already present in our societies; as the poor and the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters risk being neglected, excluded and forgotten,” he said.

“The crisis has made us realize that we are in the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other,” he added.

The pope has been a vocal proponent of a “great reset,” insisting that the pandemic offers an opportunity to rethink society and recreate it in a radically different way.

In his recent op-ed for the New York Times, the pope said that this “is a moment to dream big, to rethink our priorities — what we value, what we want, what we seek — and to commit to act in our daily life on what we have dreamed of.”

“God asks us to dare to create something new,” he declared. “We cannot return to the false securities of the political and economic systems we had before the crisis. We need economies that give to all access to the fruits of creation, to the basic needs of life: to land, lodging and labor.”

“We need to slow down, take stock and design better ways of living together on this earth,” he proposed.

The pope’s words echoed the proposal made recently by the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, in its formulation of the “Great Reset.”

“The Covid-19 crisis, and the political, economic and social disruptions it has caused, is fundamentally changing the traditional context for decision-making,” the WEF states on its website.

“As we enter a unique window of opportunity to shape the recovery, this initiative will offer insights to help inform all those determining the future state of global relations, the direction of national economies, the priorities of societies, the nature of business models and the management of a global commons,” it declares.

“Drawing from the vision and vast expertise of the leaders engaged across the Forum’s communities, the Great Reset initiative has a set of dimensions to build a new social contract that honours the dignity of every human being,” it adds.


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