AGENCIES, Vatican: The global COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating effects has radically changed even the way the Vatican works. Pope Francis celebrated Palm Sunday mass in an empty church where he denounced the mafia and all those who are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to make money.
Francis opened his morning Mass on Wednesday by praying that ‘all those who profit off the needs of others, and sell them’ experience spiritual conversion.
The 83-year-old pontiff has said the coronavirus pandemic is one of “nature’s responses” to humans ignoring the current ecological crisis. The pontiff said the outbreak offered an opportunity to slow down the rate of production and consumption and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world.
“We did not respond to the partial catastrophes. Who now speaks of the fires in Australia, or remembers that 18 months ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted? Who speaks now of the floods?” the Pope said.
“I don’t know if these are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature’s responses,” he added.
The Pope who has a damaged lung has twice tested negative for the novel coronavirus and as precaution is being consciously distanced from anyone who might be carrying the virus.
Pope Francis also said in the recent interview he was recovering from his bronchitis and praying even more from his residence in the Vatican during this “time of great uncertainty.”
He also criticized the response to the outbreak, saying the homeless should be quarantined in hotels and not in parking lots.
“A photo appeared the other day of a parking lot in Las Vegas where they [the homeless] had been put in quarantine. And the hotels were empty. But the homeless cannot go to a hotel,” the Pope said.”This is the moment to see the poor,” he said, adding that society often treats those in need as “rescued animals.”