Pope Francis urges countries to share Covid vaccine

The Pope has also prayed for countries suffering from conflicts and crises (Photo: EPA)

Pope Francis used his Christmas message to encourage countries to unite and share the coronavirus vaccine so that the poor countries do not go last.

The Pope practically delivered his traditional Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world) from the lectern of the Vatican and not from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica for tens of thousands of people.

He began with a speech on the pandemic and its impact on the world, then called for global unity and assistance to countries affected by conflicts and humanitarian crises.

He said: At this historic moment, marked by an environmental crisis and serious economic and social imbalances exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, it is all the more important that we recognize ourselves as brothers and sisters.

May the Son of God renew in political and administrative leaders the spirit of international cooperation, starting with health care, so that everyone has access to vaccines and treatments. We face a challenge that knows no boundaries, but we cannot build walls. We’re all in the same boat.

According to the Duke Global Health Innovation Center, middle-income countries have reserved a total of approximately 5 billion doses of Covida vaccine.

Most have been achieved through bilateral agreements between governments and vaccine manufacturers, said Claire Wenham, university lecturer on global health policy at the London School of Economics, on the Atlantic Ocean.

Here the authorities pay the cans in advance by giving them a ticket to queue up.

The Pope was unable to reach the tens of thousands of ordinary people with his Urby and Orby (Photo: EPA).

Pope Francis delivers his Christmas message from the Blessed Hall on St. Peter’s Square (Photo: REUTERS).

The Pope also called for peace and reconciliation in Syria, Yemen, Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Sudan, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Iraq, where he will visit at the beginning of March.

He prayed for the comfort of the people affected by humanitarian crises and natural disasters in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, the Philippines and Vietnam.

In Italy there is currently a national isolation that prevents people from going to St. Peter’s Square or the Basilica for events.

On Christmas Eve, Pope Francis said that Christmas was a time to help others because Jesus himself was born an outcast.

He said last night: May the child of Bethlehem help us to be generous, supportive and helpful, especially to those who are vulnerable, sick, unemployed or in difficulty because of the economic consequences of the pandemic, and to women who have been victims of domestic violence during these months of isolation.

In Canterbury Cathedral everyone spreads socially and wears masks (Photo: PA).

The Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, the Reverend Robert Willis, wore extra protective clothing when he gave Holy Communion (Photo: PA).

The Archbishop of Canterbury also organised a Christmas service with the congregation in public and with masks.

He preached about the last year of anxiety that had made coughing and fever a real threat.

Meanwhile, in the online version of the Midnight Mass in Westminster Cathedral, Cardinal Vincent Nichols spoke of the silent heroism that pervades the darkness.

He said: Have we not seen that these difficult months have been marked by countless acts of arbitrary kindness, silent heroism, selfless service, and remarkable community effort, all aimed at those most in need?

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