Pope Francis took a hard line on Sunday (4 April) in his Easter message against the international community, who continue to fight wars and spend more money on weapons despite the global COVID-19 pandemic.
"The pandemic is still in full swing and the socio-economic crisis remains severe, mainly for the world's poor", Pope Francis said. "Yet wars have not ended and military arsenals are being strengthened - and this is scandalous."
The pope also his traditional apostolic blessing Urbi et Orbi and praised healthcare workers worldwide. Sympathy was shown for the young generation who cannot attend school and he urged everyone to fight the pandemic.
"I call on the entire international community to show responsibility and address the delays in vaccine distribution, especially in the poorest countries."
Due to the pandemic, for the second year in a row, the pope delivered his Easter message in front of two hundred people in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, instead of the usual ten thousand in St. Peter's Square. The message could be followed worldwide via a live stream.