National Post (National Edition)



Pope Francis in his Christmas message on Friday said political and business leaders must not allow market forces and patent laws to take priority over making COVID-19 vaccines available to all, condemning nationalis­m and “the virus of radical individual­ism.” Francis delivered his traditiona­l Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world) message virtually from a lectern inside the Vatican instead of from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica. The pandemic and its social and economic effects dominated the message, in which Francis called for global unity and help for nations suffering from conflicts and humanitari­an crises. Stressing that health is an internatio­nal issue, he appeared to criticize so-called “vaccine nationalis­m,” which UN officials fear will worsen the pandemic if poor nations receive the vaccine last. “I beg everyone, heads of state, companies and internatio­nal organizati­ons to promote cooperatio­n and not competitio­n, to find a solution for everyone — vaccines for all — especially for the most vulnerable and needy in all areas of the planet,” he said.

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