Pope Francis at the window overlooking St Peter's Square. Photograph:( Reuters )
'The pandemic has exposed the plight of the poor and the great inequality that reigns in the world,' Pope Francis said
As the world is battling with a downward spiral in economies, Pope Francis has assured the Vatican employees that their jobs will be safe even during the coronavirus pandemic.
Talking to the employees and families of Vatican, Pope Francis thanked them for their continuous efforts and assured them of financial security in these tough times.
"You are the ones who count the most," he said while extending Christmas wishes to the employees and their families. "No one should lose their jobs (or) suffer the brutal economic consequences of this pandemic."
The 84-year-old religious leader addressed a gathering to extend wishes of Christmas. The event was organised in the cavernous Paul VI Audience Hall, in a socially-distanced manner with everyone, including the Pope, wearing a face mask to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
The Vatican is considered to be the world's smallest state which does not provide any unemployment fund. However, the state has been paying full wages to its workers, which is in direct contrast to the majority of the governments of the developed and developing countries around the world.
The state has incurred several economic losses due to a months-long lockdown followed by a steep decline in tourism. This has also led to the closure of the Vatican Museums. However, the Pope has made sure the workforces of the Vatican are paid their dues on time.
"The pandemic has exposed the plight of the poor and the great inequality that reigns in the world," he said.
He also talked about social inequality and injustice is an even greater virus than the coronavirus and called it "a larger virus, that of social injustice, inequality of opportunity, marginalisation and the lack of protection for the weakest."
The Vatican also allowed scientists to get virus vaccines using abortion cell lines. On Monday, the Vatican said it was ''morally acceptable'' for Roman Catholics to receive COVID-19 vaccines based on research that used fetal tissue from abortions.