Pope Francis: ‘We Cannot Erect Walls’ Because Coronavirus ‘Knows No Borders’

Pope Francis, wearing a protective face mask, arrives for an inter-religious prayer servic

ROME — Pope Francis took advantage of his yearly Christmas message Friday to reiterate his message of inclusiveness, multilateralism, and openness to immigration.

“At Christmas we celebrate the light of Christ who comes into the world; he comes for everyone, not just for some,” the pope said in his solemn “Urbi et Orbi” message. “Today, in this time of darkness and uncertainty regarding the pandemic, various lights of hope appear, such as the discovery of vaccines.”

As he has done on numerous other occasions, the pope pointed his finger at new forms of “nationalism” as the enemy of globalism and true human solidarity.

“But for these lights to illuminate and bring hope to all, they need to be available to all,” the pontiff continued. “We cannot allow the various forms of nationalism closed in on themselves to prevent us from living as the truly human family that we are.”

“Nor can we allow the virus of radical individualism to get the better of us and make us indifferent to the suffering of other brothers and sisters,” he added. “I cannot place myself ahead of others, letting the law of the marketplace and patents take precedence over the law of love and the health of humanity.”

The pope has insisted that no corporation or nation should have proprietary rights to any coronavirus vaccines produced but that they should be made available universally.

“I ask everyone – government leaders, businesses, international organizations – to foster cooperation and not competition, and to seek a solution for everyone: vaccines for all, especially for the most vulnerable and needy of all regions of the planet,” he said. “Before all others: the most vulnerable and needy!”

While praying for all those adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic and measures used to address it, the pope took advantage of the topic to press some of his favorite themes.

“In the face of a challenge that knows no borders, we cannot erect walls,” Francis said. “All of us are in the same boat. Every other person is my brother or my sister.”

“In everyone, I see reflected the face of God, and in those who suffer, I see the Lord pleading for my help,” he continued. “I see him in the sick, the poor, the unemployed, the marginalized, the migrant and the refugee: brothers and sisters all!”


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