In a video address after his traditional Angelus blessing, Pope Francis criticized those who went on vacation to escape the COVID-19 lockdowns, noting that they only thought about “going on holiday and having fun.”
"They are good people, but they didn't think about those who were staying at home, of the economic problems of many people who have been hit hard by the lockdown, of the sick people," said the Pope.
Pope Francis’ weekly noon blessings are usually given from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square to a massive anticipating crowd. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been moved indoors to avoid people gathering at the square and curb the spread of the virus.
“We don't know what 2021 has in store for us, but what each of us and all of us together can do is to commit ourselves a little more to take care of each other and of creation, our common home. There is the temptation to take care only of our own interests,” said the 84-year-old pontiff, who was unable to celebrate the New Year’s Masses because of a painful flare up of his sciatica.
In his Christmas message, Pope Francis also called all nations to make the vaccines available for all, especially for those who need them the most. He also appealed for countries to help each other “in the face of a challenge that knows no borders.”
Some countries across the globe have imposed new lockdown and travel ban rules as numbers of those infected by the virus continue to soar. Adding up to the equation is the new fast-spreading variant of COVID-19 that has emerged in the United Kingdom before 2020 ended.
As of this writing, there are more than 85 million people who have been infected by the virus and at least 1.8 million people have died because of it, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Watch Pope Francis’ full Angelus blessing and message here:
Banner image screenshot of Pope Francis from Vatican News