Pope Francis on the Pandemic and the ‘Virus of Individualism’

Photo by Ágatha Depiné on Unsplash

via the Vatican:

The coronavirus has caused death and suffering, affecting the lives of all, especially the most vulnerable. Please do not forget the most vulnerable. Do not forget those at the limit. Moreover, the pandemic has contributed to worsening existing social and environmental crises, as you, young people, are always reminding us. And you are right to remember this.

In the face of so much darkness and uncertainty, we need light and hope. We need paths of healing and salvation. And I mean healing at the root, healing the cause of the evil and not just the symptoms. In these sick roots we find the virus of individualism, which does not make us freer or more equal or more brotherly or sisterly, but rather makes us indifferent to the suffering of others. And a variant of this virus is closed nationalism, which prevents, for example, an internationalism of vaccines. Another variant is when we put the laws of the market or intellectual property above the laws of love and the health of humanity. Another variant is when we create and promote a sick economy, which allows a few very rich people, a few very rich people, to own more than all the rest of humanity, and production and consumption patterns to destroy the planet, our “Common Home”.

These things are interconnected. Every social injustice, every marginalization of some into poverty or misery also affects the environment. Nature and people are linked. God the Creator instills in our hearts a new and generous spirit to abandon our individualism and promote the common good: a spirit of justice that mobilizes us to ensure universal access to vaccines and the temporary suspension of intellectual property rights; a spirit of communion that allows us to generate a different, more inclusive, just and sustainable economic model.