Pope Francis calls for immediate global ceasefire

epa08327284 Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica during an extraordinary 'Urbi et Orbi' blessing - normally given only at Christmas and Easter -, as a response to the global coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Vatican, 27 March 2020. The blessing is live streamed worldwide giving the possibility for the faithful connected to receive the plenary indulgence. EPA-EFE/YARA NARDI / POOL

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In words following the recitation of the Marian Prayer on Sunday,  Pope Francis highlighted an appeal launched by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres this week calling for an ‘immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world’, amidst the current Covid-19 pandemic.

From the Library of the Apostolic Palace, the Pope said he joined all those who had made this call and he invited everyone “to follow it up by ceasing all forms of hostilities, encouraging the creation of corridors for humanitarian aid, openness to diplomacy, and attention to those who find themselves in situations of vulnerability.”

“May our joint fight against the pandemic bring everyone to recognize the great need to reinforce brotherly and sisterly bonds as members of one human family”, the Pope said.

“In particular, may it inspire a renewed commitment to overcome rivalries among leaders of nations and those parties involved. Conflicts are not resolved through war.”

Antagonism and differences, Pope Francis underlined, “must be overcome through dialogue and a constructive search for peace.”

The Vatican said on Saturday that tests carried out in the building where Pope Francis lives after one resident tested positive for coronavirus showed that the pontiff and his closest aides do not have the disease.

It was the first pronouncement about the 83-year-old pope and his coronavirus status since the current crisis began in Italy, where more than 10,000 people have died.

Tests were done on 170 people in the Vatican and six showed positive, including one of the several dozen permanent residents of the Santa Marta guesthouse on the Vatican grounds, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement.

“I can confirm that neither the Holy Father nor his closest aides are among these,” he said.

The person who tested positive works in the Secretariat of State and is in a Rome hospital.

Tests showed one other person who had been in contact with the priest also came up positive but that person did not live in the papal residence.

Vatican News / Reuters 

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