By Oisin Sweeney • 25 December 2020 • 14:57
POPE FRANCIS has urged world leaders to secure vaccine access to all in his annual Christmas address, delivered online for the first time in history.
Usually, the Pope would make his Christmas address from the balcony of St Peters Basilica in the Vatican to huge crowds, but due to Covid restrictions, his speech was made online for the first time in history.
Francis used his address to urge world leaders to ensure that the Covid vaccine is distributed to people across the globe, particularly to those living in poor countries.
“May the Son of God renew in political and government leaders a spirit of international cooperation, starting with healthcare so that all will be ensured access to vaccines and treatment,” said the Pope to millions of Catholics watching online.
“In the face of a challenge that knows no borders, we cannot erect walls. All of us our in the same boat”.
“At this moment in history, marked by the ecological crisis and grave economic and social imbalances only worsened by the coronavirus pandemic, it is all the more important for us to acknowledge one another as brothers and sisters.”
The Pope also called for increased support to victims of the pandemic, particularly women suffering domestic violence during the lockdown across the globe.
Francis also called for peace and reconciliation in Syria, Yemen, Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Sudan, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Iraq. These regions are currently experiencing intense conflicts, which many analysts believe will be exacerbated by the economic fallout of the pandemic.
He is due to make a trip to Iraq in March 2021 in what would be the first Papal visit to the war-torn country.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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