By Devin Watkins
The Pope has joined his voice to those of Bishops across North and South America to urge people to get jabbed against Covid-19.
In a video message produced in conjunction with the Ad Council, Pope Francis praised the work of researchers and scientists in producing safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines.
“Thanks to God’s grace and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from Covid-19,” he said in the video released on Wednesday.
He added that vaccines “bring hope to end the pandemic, but only if they are available to all and if we collaborate with one another.”
Vaccination is an act of love
Pope Francis went on to say that getting a Covid jab that is “authorized by the respective authorities” is an “act of love.”
Helping other do the same, he said, is also an act of love. “Love for oneself, love for our families and friends, and love for all peoples. Love is also social and political.”
The Pope noted that social and political love is built up through “small, individual gestures capable of transforming and improving societies.”
“Getting vaccinated is a simple yet profound way to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable,” he said.
Pope Francis then prayed to God that “each one of us can make his or her own small gesture of love.”
“No matter how small, love is always grand,” he said. “Small gestures for a better future.”
‘Strength of faith’
The Pope was joined in the video by several Cardinals and Archbishops from across the Americas.
Archbishop Jose Gomez, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Archbishop of Los Angeles, lamented the suffering and death the pandemic has wrought across the globe.
He prayed that God might “grant us the grace to face it with the strength of faith, ensuring that vaccines are available for all, so that we can all get immunized.”
Mexican Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes linked Covid-19 jabs to a better future for all.
“From North to South America, we support vaccinations for all,” said the Cardinal.
Safe, effective vaccines
Honduran Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga said the world has much to learn from the coronavirus.
“But one thing is certain: the authorized vaccines are effective, and are here to save lives,” he said. “They are the key to a path of personal and universal healing.”
Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes praised the “heroic efforts” of health professionals in developing “safe and effective” jabs.
He also repeated the Pope’s affirmation that “getting vaccinated is an act of love”.
Salvadorian Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez said vaccination helps protect the most vulnerable.
“Our choice to get vaccinated affects others,” he said, adding that it is a moral responsibility.
Unity across the Americas
Peruvian Archbishop Miguel Cabrejos rounded out the testimonies contained in the video with an appeal to unity.
“We are united—North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean—to promote and support vaccination for all,” he said, encouraging everyone to “act responsibly, as members of the great human family, seeking and protecting our integral health and universal vaccination.”