In Easter speech, pope calls wars in pandemic ‘scandalous’

VATICAN CITY (AP) – For the second Easter in a row, the pope read his address from inside St. Peter’s Basilica instead of outdoors to discourage crowds in St. Peter’s Square.

In his traditional Easter Sunday address, Pope Francis denounced as “scandalous” how armed conflicts continue to rage even as the coronavirus pandemic has triggered severe social and economic suffering and swollen the ranks of the poor.

Francis tempered his world affairs speech on Easter Sunday with wishes of joy along with accounts of pain from the globe’s many armed conflicts and other sources of violence. He also appealed anew to the international community to overcome delays in distributing COVID-19 vaccines and to ensure supplies reach the poorest countries.

“Everyone, especially the most vulnerable among us, requires assistance and has the right to have access to necessary care.” the pontiff said.