VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is calling for solidarity the world over to confront the “epochal challenge” posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
He has urged political leaders in particular to give hope and opportunity to laid-off workers.
Francis made his traditional Easter address on Sunday and called for sanctions relief, debt forgiveness and cease-fires to calm conflicts and financial crises around the globe.
He has offered special prayers for the sick, the dead, the elderly, refugees and the poor. He also has offered thanks and encouragement to doctors and nurses who have worked “to the point of exhaustion and not infrequently at the expense of their own health.”
Francis has urged the European Union to step up to the “epochal challenge” posed by COVID-19 and resist the tendency of selfishness and division. He recalled that Europe rose again after World War II “thanks to a concrete spirit of solidarity that enabled it to overcome the rivalries of the past.”
He says “this is not a time for self-centerdness, because the challenge we are facing is shared by all, without distinguishing between persons.”