On Monday, ambassadors wearing formal dress and face masks listened to the pope in the Vatican’s Hall of Blessings.
Emphasizing the importance of vaccination efforts to reduce the spread and virulence of Covid-19, the pope repeated his earlier call on individuals to get the vaccine, not only for their own benefit but also out of “Respect for the health of those around us,” adding, “Healthcare is a moral obligation.”
The pope lamented politicization of the debate over vaccines, saying that “Frequently people let themselves be influenced by the ideology of the moment, often bolstered by baseless information or poorly documented facts.”
The pope reiterated his earlier calls for wider access to vaccines and drugs as part of a coordinated global response to the pandemic.
The pope said that effective multilateral diplomacy required the recognition of what he described as fundamental values: “The right to life, from conception to its natural end, and the right to religious freedom.”
Without offering specific examples, the pope related this practice to “The cancel culture invading many circles and public institutions.”
“Under the guise of defending diversity, ends up canceling all sense of identity,” the pope said.
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