Pope Francis on Monday urged the international community to step up COVID-19 vaccination, saying “reality therapy” was needed to battle “baseless information” putting people off getting jabbed.
The pontiff, who has previously described getting vaccinated as “an act of love,” urged governments to ensure everyone around the world had access to vaccines.
“Frequently people let themselves be influenced by the ideology of the moment, often bolstered by baseless information or poorly documented facts,” he told members of the Vatican’s diplomatic corps.
“Every ideological statement severs the bond of human reason with the objective reality of things,” he said.
“The pandemic, on the other hand, urges us to adopt a sort of ‘reality therapy’ that makes us confront the problem head on and adopt suitable remedies to resolve it,” said the pope.
Speaking beneath a large tapestry depicting the nativity of Christ, the pope strongly endorsed COVID-19 vaccination campaigns.
While vaccines were “not a magical means of healing” they were “surely… the most reasonable solution for the prevention of the disease,” he said.
But he pointed out the plan for everyone in the world to have equal access to vaccines currently remained “an illusion.”
“Sadly, we are finding increasingly that we live in a world of strong ideological divides,” he said.
The pope criticized what he called a “lack of resolute decision-making and clear communication” by the authorities amid the pandemic, which he said had created “a ‘social relativism’ detrimental to harmony and unity.”
He told the diplomats, who wore formal uniforms and face coverings, that he hoped to see renewed efforts so that “the entire world population can have equal access to essential medical care and vaccines.”