By LARISSA I. LOPEZ

In face of the global epidemic and governments’ reactions, Pope Francis points out that, although we all know that to defend the people implies an “economic misfortune,” “it would be sad if one opted for the contrary, which would lead very many people to death, something like a virosic genocide.”

In a letter dated Saturday, March 28, 2020, to the President of the Pan-American Committee of Men and Women Judges for Social Rights, the Holy Father drew important definitions for the present and the future in the framework of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

In the letter, Pope Francis alerts about governments that don’t adopt measures to defend the population and he reflects on the social consequences that must be addressed.

People Are the Priority

In the first place, the Pope explains how he has been edified “by the reaction of many people, doctors, men and women nurses, volunteers, Religious, and priests who risk their life to cure and to defend healthy people from infection, “ and he highlights that some governments “have taken exemplary measures with well-defined priorities to defend the population,” prioritizing “the people” in their decisions.

The Pontiff adds that it’s true that these measures “bother” those that feel “obliged to comply with them, but it’s always for the common good and, in the long run, the majority of people accept them and have a positive attitude.”

We Must Prepare Ourselves for Afterward

The Holy Father then refers to the meeting, held last Friday, of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development “on the now and on the afterward.”

He stresses that it’s important to prepare ourselves for afterward, as “some consequences are already noted that must be addressed: hunger, especially for those without fixed work (odd jobs, etc.), violence, the advent of usurers (who are the real “plague” of the social future, dehumanized offenders), etc.”

In regard to the economic future, the Bishop of Rome says that the view of economist Mariana Mazzucato is interesting. She is a “docent at University College London (“The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy,” The Hague, 2018). I believe it helps to think of the future,” he concludes.

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