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Pope at General Audience: Access to Vaccines Must Be Equal for All, Not Just the Privileged

Also Asks Lord to Grant Peace & Joy to Families Who Had to Forego Summer Holidays This Year

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“How sad it would be if, for example, access to a Covid-19 vaccine were made available only to the rich, and not to others in equal or greater need!”

Pope Francis decried this possibility during his private General Audience, streamed from inside his Apostolic Library, as he continued his catecheses on healing the world.

Addressing English speakers on the current global pandemic, he reflected: “we have seen that it has made us sensitive to an even graver virus affecting our world: that of social injustice, lack of equal opportunity and the marginalization of the poor and those in greatest need.”

“Christ’s example and teaching show us that a preferential option for the poor is an essential criterion of our authenticity as his followers.”

Christian charity, the Argentine Pontiff highlighted, demands that, beyond social assistance, we listen to their voices and work to overcome all that hinders their material and spiritual development.

Our desire for a return to normality, he warned, should not mean a return to social injustices or to a delay of long overdue reforms.

“Today,” he said, “we have an opportunity to create something different: an ethically sound economy, centered on people, especially the poor, in recognition of their innate human dignity.”

“May the Gospel,” he prayed, “inspire us to find ever more creative ways to exercise that charity, grounded in faith and anchored in hope, which can heal our wounded world and promote the true welfare of our entire human family.

Cordially greeting the English-speaking faithful, he noted his thoughts turn especially “to those families who have had to forego their summer holidays this year; I entrust them to the Lord that he will grant them peace and joy.”

“May God bless you!” he said.


POPE’S GENERAL AUDIENCE: Matthew, Chapter 25 – A Key Criterion of Christian Authenticity (FULL TEXT)

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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