Pope to Ambassadors: Vaccines for all a question of justice
By Vatican News staff reporter
Presenting their letters of credentials to the Pope on Friday were the new Ambassadors to the Holy See from Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Namibia, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Chad, and Guinea-Bissau.
In his greeting to the Ambassadors in the Vatican, Pope Francis noted that this time last year at this same ceremony, “the world was still in the firm grip of the pandemic, yet signs of hope were emerging on the horizon as the initial vaccines were about to be administered.”
Challenges of the pandemic
At the time, the Pope said, many thought that the vaccine would see “a quick end to the pandemic.”
However, Pope Francis noted that, although great strides have been made, COVID-19 is still causing pain, suffering, and loss of life.
Access to vaccines for all
With this in mind, the Pope underlined that it was all the more important “that the international community intensify its efforts of cooperation so that all people will have ready access to vaccines.”
“This is not a matter of convenience or courtesy, but it is a question of justice,” he said.
Pope Francis reiterated that the pandemic again reminds us that “one person’s problems are the problems of all.”
He also stressed that there was “an urgent need to learn from this experience and open our eyes” in order to see that what is most important is one another.
Culture of encounter
The Pope expressed his sincere hope “that through this experience the international community will come to a greater realization of the fact that we are one human family,” and that no one should feel excluded.
This, he said, “is a truth that should compel us to confront not only the current health crisis but all the problems plaguing humanity and our common home” – such as poverty, migration, terrorism, and climate change, to name a few – “in a solidary way and not in isolation.”
While the pandemic has brought out the best of humanity in terms of generosity and service, “much more needs to be done on an institutional and intergovernmental level in furthering a ‘culture of encounter’ in service of the common good of our human family,” he said.
In this regard, the Pope told the Ambassadors gathererd that the Holy See values the important role that they play, and said the main instrument at their disposal is “dialogue.”
In conclusion, Pope Francis said the Holy See was ready to engage with them “in a fruitful dialogue in order to address matters of common concern, especially those affecting humanity and our common home.”