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Pope urges solidarity amid coronavirus crisis at Easter Mass

Pope Francis has called for solidarity all over the world to address the challenges posed by coronavirus pandemic.

In his Easter message, the Pope said: “This is not a time for self-centredness, because the challenge we are facing is shared by all, without distinguishing between persons. Among the many areas of the world affected by the coronavirus, I think in a special way of Europe. After the Second World War, this continent was able to rise again, thanks to a concrete spirit of solidarity that enabled it to overcome the rivalries of the past. It is more urgent than ever, especially in the present circumstances, that these rivalries do not regain force, but that all recognize themselves as part of a single family and support one another.”

Pope Francis reminded the leaders of the European Union that their continent was “facing an epochal challenge, on which will depend not only its future but that of the whole world.”

“Let us not lose the opportunity to give further proof of solidarity, also by turning to innovative solutions. The only alternative is the selfishness of particular interests and the temptation of a return to the past, at the risk of severely damaging the peaceful coexistence and development of future generations,” Pope Francis said.

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The Pope’s thoughts went to the people who “have been directly affected by the coronavirus: the sick, those who have died and family members who mourn the loss of their loved ones, to whom, in some cases, they were unable even to bid a final farewell.”

He asked God to welcome the departed into his kingdom and to comfort and give hope to those still suffering, especially the elderly and those who are alone.

“May he never withdraw his consolation and help from those who are especially vulnerable, such as persons who work in nursing homes, or live in barracks and prisons. For many, this is an Easter of solitude lived amid the sorrow and hardship that the pandemic is causing, from physical suffering to economic difficulties,” Pope Francis said.

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He thanked doctors and nurses, and all the people “who work diligently to guarantee the essential services necessary for civil society, and to the law enforcement and military personnel who in many countries have helped ease people’s difficulties and sufferings.”