Pope Francis has criticized people going abroad on holiday to escape coronavirus lockdowns, saying they needed to show greater awareness of the suffering of others.
Speaking after the Angelus on Dec. 3, Pope Francis said he had read newspaper reports of people catching flights to flee government curbs and seek fun elsewhere which he linked to selfish behavior.
“It is true, there is the temptation to take care only of our own interests, to continue to wage war, for example, concentrating only on the economic aspect, to live hedonistically, that is, seeking only to satisfy our own pleasure… there is that temptation,” Pope Francis said in a video address from the library of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.
“I read something in the newspapers that saddened me greatly: In one country, I forget which, more than 40 aircraft left, to enable people to flee from the lockdown and to enjoy the holidays,” said the pope.
“But those people, good people, did they not think about those who stayed at home, about the economic problems faced by many people who have been floored by the lockdown, about the sick?” he said.
“They thought only about taking a holiday for their own pleasure. This pained me greatly.”
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 do not know what 2021 holds for us, but what each one of us, and all of us together, can do is to take care of each other and of creation, our common home,” 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.