Pope Francis has called for global unity in the search for a vaccine against the new coronavirus disease that continues to claim the lives of thousands of people around the world.
In an address made on May 3, the pontiff expressed support for international collaboration to respond “adequately and effectively” to the health crisis.
He said it is important “to bring together scientific capacities, in a transparent and impartial way, to find vaccines and treatments.”
The pope stressed that the common initiative should “guarantee universal access to essential technologies that will enable every infected person, in every part of the world, to receive the necessary health care.”
After his address on the occasion of Good Shepherd Sunday, Pope Francis “expressed his closeness” to those suffering from COVID-19 as patients or caregivers.
He said he was thinking of all the priests and doctors who gave their lives in the service of others during the coronavirus pandemic.
“May the example of these shepherds, priests and doctors, help us to take care of the holy faithful people of God,” said the pope before Mass on May 3.
Pope Francis said doctors who “care for the good of people” and “pastors who give their lives for the faithful” remind him of Jesus the Good Shepherd.
He called on “believers of all religions” to unite spiritually for a day of prayer and fasting “to implore God to help humanity overcome the coronavirus pandemic” on May 14.
The pope said that Good Shepherd Sunday should remind Christians of what Jesus said “that the field of the Kingdom of God requires much work.”
“We must pray to the Father to send laborers to work in His field,” he said, adding that “Christian existence is always a response to God’s call, in any state of life.”
He stressed that “priesthood and the consecrated life require courage and perseverance; and without prayer one cannot continue along this path.”
In Italy alone, more than 100 priests and 154 doctors have died of the new coronavirus disease.