Speed Reads

Pope Francis

Pope Francis urges international community to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to 'poorest countries' in Easter address

After presiding over an Easter Mass attended by fewer than 200 people in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City because of coronavirus restrictions on Sunday, Pope Francis delivered his latest "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) address.

In the message, Francis said, "I urge the entire international community, in a spirit of global responsibility, to commit to overcoming delays in the distribution of [COVID-19] vaccines and to facilitate their distribution, especially in the poorest countries." He also called for more public assistance for those struggling financially during the pandemic, and lamented the fact that many people, especially youths, have missed out on "experiencing real human relationships" over the last year.

Aside from the pandemic, Francis drew attention to conflicts in Ethiopia and Mozambique, anti-coup protests in Myanmar, and the civil wars in Syria and Yemen, calling for peace in each situation. "There are still too many wars and too much violence in the world," he said, noting that "military arsenals are being strengthened" throughout the world. Read more at Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.