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Pope Francis 'saddened' by news that people went 'on holiday' to avoid lockdowns


Pope Francis strongly criticized people on Sunday who traveled abroad in order to escape coronavirus lockdowns, saying it showed a lack of awareness and compassion.

The pope spoke during his weekly noon blessing, which is normally given from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square. The blessing has been moved indoors to discourage large crowds during the pandemic.

ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 20: Pope Francis holds his speech during an International Prayer Meeting for Peace "No one is saved alone - Peace and Fraternity" at the Roman Basilica of Aracoeli on October 20, 2020 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Vatican Pool/Getty Images)

ROME, ITALY – OCTOBER 20: Pope Francis holds his speech during an International Prayer Meeting for Peace “No one is saved alone – Peace and Fraternity” at the Roman Basilica of Aracoeli on October 20, 2020 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Vatican Pool/Getty Images)

The pope highlighted the selfishness of what he read in the news, saying it “saddened” him.

“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,” Pope Francis said, according to Reuters.

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“(They thought) only about going on holiday and having fun.

“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,” the pope added. “There is the temptation to take care only of our own interests.”

The pope spoke about similar themes on New Year’s Day during the traditional Angelus blessing, fighting through nerve pain to deliver the address.

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During this year’s address, he called for peace, saying that “the pandemic taught us how much it is necessary to take interest in others’ problems and to share their concerns.”  

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