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Pope Francis hits people protesting blockade of COVID-19: NYT op-ed



  • Pope Francis has spoken out against people protesting the blockade of the coronavirus in the New York Times on Thursday.
  • “Looking at the common good is much more than the sum of what is good for people,” he wrote.
  • The opinion came after the Supreme Court ruled not to impose restrictions on religious gatherings in New York, which Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced to help curb the transmission of the virus.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Pope Francis insulted people who protested against the restrictions on the coronavirus in the name of “personal freedom”

; and offered the groups strict advice in the New York Times published on Thursday.

“Looking at the common good is much more than the sum of what is good for people,” he wrote. “This means having an attitude towards all citizens and striving to respond effectively to the needs of the least fortunate.”

At the start of the spring pandemic, governments around the world imposed versions of home warrants to help curb the transmission of COVID-19. In several countries, including the United States, such restrictions have been met with protests by conservative groups.

“As if the measures that governments must impose for the good of their people are some kind of political encroachment on autonomy or personal freedom!” Francis writes about the protests against the blockade.

“For some, it is too easy to take an idea – in this case, personal freedom – and turn it into an ideology, creating a prism through which they judge everything,” he added.

Although Francis did not mention any country or leaders by name, he called on governments that “withdrew the painful evidence of growing mortality with inevitable, severe consequences.”

The United States is leading the world in confirmed cases of coronavirus with nearly 13 million infections as of Friday. President Donald Trump has been criticized for downplaying the virus since the outbreak and for continuing to avoid its severity as doctors and scientists predict an increase in deaths over the winter.

In his opinion, Francis described the public health crisis as a time that “reveals what is in our hearts” and an opportunity to “rethink our priorities.”

“If we want to get out of this crisis less selfishly than when we do, we must allow ourselves to be touched by the pain of others,” he wrote.

The article coincided a day after the US Supreme Court decided not to impose restrictions on religious gatherings in New York. The decision blocked the employment restrictions of Governor Andrew Cuomo for 10 and 25 people, which he introduced to prevent further spread of the virus. Cuomo later called the decision “irrelevant.”

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