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Pope: "Self-Centeredness" Must be Banished in Coronavirus War

Pope Francis' Easter "Urbi et Orbi" (message to the city and the world) delivered from an empty St. Peter's Basilica instead of to the usual crowd of tens of thousands in the square outside, was by far his most urgent and political since his election in 2013. Saying the focus of this year's "Easter of solitude" should be a "contagion of hope". He lavished praise on doctors, nurses and others risking their lives to save others and hailed those working to keep essential services running. "This is not a time for indifference, because the whole world is suffering and needs to be united in facing the pandemic," he said in the message, almost entirely dedicated to the pandemic's effects on personal and international relations. "Indifference, self-centredness, division, and forgetfulness are not the words we want to hear at this time. We want to ban these words forever!" he said. Pope Francis on Sunday 12 April 2020 called for global solidarity in fighting the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout, urging the relaxation of international sanctions, debt relief for poor nations and ceasefires in all conflicts. Francis expressed sympathy for those not able to bid farewell to their loved ones because of restrictions and for all those worried about an uncertain future. The pope said now was the time for politicians and governments to avoid "self-centredness" and take decisive, concerted action to help each others' populations live through the crisis and eventually resume a normal life. (VFI News)