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Pope demands faster distribution of vaccines, clashes erupt during pandemic in Easter message

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VATICAN CITY Pope Francis called on countries in his Easter Sunday message to speed up the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, especially to poor countries, and called them armed conflict and military spending during a scandalous pandemic. “

The coronavirus has meant that this is the second year in a row that Easter papal services have attended small gatherings at a secondary altar in St. Peter’s Basilica, instead of crowds in the church or outside square.

After Mass, Francesco read his message Urbi et Orbi (city and world), in which he traditionally reviews the problems of the world and calls for peace.

The pandemic is still spreading, while the social and economic crisis remains severe, especially for the poor. However, and this is scandalous, armed conflicts are not over and military arsenals are being strengthened, he said.

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Francis, who would normally have given the address to up to 100,000 people in St. Louis Square. Peters, spoke to less than 200 in the church as the message spread to tens of millions around the world.

The square was empty except for a few police officers enforcing a strict three-day national curfew.

“The pope asked God to comfort the sick, those who have lost a loved one and the unemployed, urging the authorities to provide decent food to families in greatest need.”

He praised medical staff, sympathized with young people who could not go to school and said everyone had been called in to fight the pandemic.

I urge the entire international community, in a spirit of global responsibility, to commit to overcoming delays in the delivery of vaccines and facilitating their delivery, especially to the poorest countries, ”he said.

Francesco, who has often called for disarmament and a total ban on possession of nuclear weapons, said: There is still much war and much violence in the world! May God, who is our peace, help us to overcome the thought of war.

Noting that it was International Anti-Personnel Mine Awareness Day, he called such weapons insidious and horrible devices … how much better our world would be without these instruments of death!

Citing conflict zones, he praised Myanmar’s youth for their commitment to supporting democracy and making their voices heard peacefully. More than 550 protesters have been killed since a February 1 military coup in Myanmar, which the Pope visited in 2017.

On Sunday, opponents of the coup marked protest messages on Easter eggs.

Francesco called for peace in several conflict areas in Africa, including the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia and the Cabo Delgado province of MOZAMBIQUE “The crisis in Yemen has been met with deafening and scandalous silence,” he said.

He called on Israelis and Palestinians to rediscover the power of dialogue to reach a two-state solution where both can live side by side in peace and prosperity.

Francesco said he realized that many Christians were still persecuted and called for the lifting of all restrictions on freedom of worship and religion worldwide.

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