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Police distribute food to homeless people during lockdown in India Police distribute food to homeless people during lockdown in India  (AFP or licensors)

Covid-19: Pope urges governments to act for the common good

Pope Francis responds to a letter from the President of the Pan American Committee of Judges for Social Rights and Franciscan Doctrine, addressing the issues of measures adopted by governments to defend their populations against the Covid-19 virus.

By Vatican News

Pope Francis opens his letter, dated March 28 and addressed to Dr. Roberto Andrés Gallardo, President of the Pan American Committee of Judges, by saying that “we are all concerned about the growth of the pandemic”.

Though the virus is spreading rapidly, the Pope says he is encouraged “by the reaction of so many doctors, nurses, volunteers, religious and priests, who put their lives at risk” in order to protect others.

The Pope recognises that some governments have taken “exemplary measures” and have well-defined priorities to defend the population”. Although some of these measures may be considered ‘irritating’ by some, the Pope acknowledges that they are put in place “for the common good”, and that most people “accept them and carry them forward with a positive attitude”.         

The governments that are tackling the crisis in this way are showing that “the people” are their priority, says the Pope. This is an important decision because we know that “defending the people” results in “economic disaster”, he adds.

“It would be sad to opt for the contrary”, says the Pope as any other way would result in the death of many, many people.

Pope Francis then refers to a meeting held with the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in which they reflected on “the now” and “the later”.

Preparing for “the later” is important, says the Pope, and some of the consequences are already noticeable and need to be addressed. One of these, for example, is hunger.

Pope Francis ends his letter by referring to the opinion of economist Mariana Mazzucato in her book “The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy”. Her book explores the need to rethink value, explaining how giving more importance to value rather than price will help make the world a better place. “I think it helps to think about the future” says the Pope.         

Finally, the Pope sends his wishes to Dr Gallardo and his family, and, as is his custom, asks that they pray for him, too.

30 March 2020, 15:15