POPE URGES NATIONS: DIVERT ARMS FUNDING TO PANDEMIC PREVENTION
Pope Francis on Saturday, May 30, 2020, urged politicians to divert funds spent on weapons to research to prevent another pandemic, as he led the largest gathering in the Vatican in nearly three months.
Francis presided at an outdoor prayer service with about 130 people, including many directly affected by the pandemic. In his closing prayer, Francis said national leaders should take a far-sighted attitude, helping the most needy now and putting in place long-term economic and social solutions, wrote Philip Pullella for Reuters.
He prayed that the Madonna would "touch (leaders') consciences so that enormous sums spent to possess more armaments and to perfect them be instead destined to the promotion of sufficient research to prevent such catastrophes in the future.”
Earlier this month, Francis called for international scientific cooperation to develop a vaccine and said any successful one should be shared globally. For nearly three months, Francis has led televised Masses, general audiences and Sunday addresses from inside the Vatican with no public. #COVID19