Copyright: Zenit's Sr. Vatican Correspondent, Deborah Castellano Lubov

Pope at General Audience: Coronavirus Heeds No Distinctions Nor Barriers; Neither Must We, When Responding to COVID

In Fidelity to Our Christian Vocation

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The response to COVID19 must be without distinctions or barriers…
Pope Francis made this appeal at his weekly General Audience, today, Sept. 9, 2020, the second week since the virus’ outbreak, where faithful could be present in the Vatican’s Courtyard of San Damaso of the Apostolic Palace.

Participation remains open to all who wish, without the need for tickets. Last week Zenit was with the Pope at the Audience for his first such Audience since February.

While continuing his series of catecheses on COVID 19, Francis reflected on  the current pandemic in the light of the  Church’s  Social Doctrine, stressing the  common good must be the goal of our individual and collective  efforts to heal our wounded world.

God’s unconditional love, he stressed, inspires our  Christian  commitment   “which calls us to set no limits on our love for others and our concern  for  their  welfare.”

Being members of one human family,  the Argentine Pontiff stressed that our  well-being  is a public, and not simply a private, good.

“By placing every human person and the common good at the center of our cultural,  economic  and  political  activity,” Francis encouraged, “we  will  create  a  genuinely  healthy,  just  and  peaceful  world, and so contribute to the building of a true ‘civilization of love.’”

“The coronavirus,” the Pontiff underscored, “heeds no cultural  or  political  barrier  or  distinction  –  nor  must  we  impose  any  barrier  or  distinction  on  our  love as we work for the common good in responding to the grave problems brought to the fore by the pandemic, in fidelity to our Christian vocation.”

Pope Francis cordially greeted English-speaking  faithful present as well as those following the audience via streaming.

“May  the  Lord’s  grace,” he prayed, ” sustain  all  of  you  in  bringing  the  Father’s  love  to  our  brothers  and  sisters,  especially  those  most  in  need,”

Invoking the joy and peace of the Lord, upon all of  them and their families, he said: “God bless you!”

Following the health indications of the Authorities, the General Audiences in September are taking place in the San Damaso Courtyard of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Individuals enter from the Bronze Doors of the right colonnade of St. Peter’s Square, as early as 7:30 a.m. Pilgrims are to maintain proper social distancing, sanitize hands, have temperatures taken and pass through security clearance. To reach the Courtyard of San Damaso, faithful go past the masked Swiss Guards, climb about 75 steps, before arriving at the site of the audience. It is rare for faithful and pilgrims to have access to this space.

In the past, General Audiences were held in St. Peter’s Square, or in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

Full Text of Pope’s September 9 General Audience Address

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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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