VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis condemned on Sunday people who had gone abroad on holiday to escape coronavirus lockdowns, saying they needed to show greater awareness of the suffering of others.
Speaking after his weekly noon blessing, Francis said he had read newspaper reports of people catching flights to flee government curbs and seek fun elsewhere.
“They didn’t think about those who were staying at home, of the economic problems of many people who have been hit hard by the lockdown, of the sick people. (They thought) only about going on holiday and having fun,” the pope said.
“This really saddened me,” he said in a video address from the library of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.
The traditional Angelus blessing is normally given from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, but it was moved indoors to prevent any crowds gathering and limit the spread of COVID-19.
“We don’t know what 2021 will reserve for us, but what all of us can do together is make a bit more of an effort to take care of each other. There is the temptation to take care only of our own interests,” he added.
Many countries have imposed strict restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus, which has killed some 1.83 million people worldwide, according to the latest Reuters tally.
(The story corrects global death toll in final paragraph to 1.83 million.)
(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)