The pontiff called that behavior indicative of people “incapable of moving outside of their own little world of interests.”
In “Let Us Dream: A Path to a Better Future,” a new book written with his British biographer Austen Ivereigh, Pope Francis chastised those who claim that “being forced to wear a mask is an unwarranted imposition by the state.”
In the book, which is expected to be released Dec. 1 and will also be published in Spanish, the Pope calls out COVID-19 deniers and those who protested “refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions—as if measures that the governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom.”
The Pope then went on to contrast that attitude, which he called indicative of people “incapable of moving outside of their own little world of interests,” with the demonstrations against racism after the death of the 46-year-old Black man who was killed when a white police officer knelt on his neck for about nine and a half minutes, even after he was handcuffed and lying face down.
“You’ll never find such people protesting the death of George Floyd, or joining a demonstration because there are shantytowns where children lack water or education or because there are whole families who have lost their income,” he expressed.
The Pope condemned the “horrendous” death as he hailed how many people “took to the streets to protest, united by a healthy indignation.”
The Pope also had strong words for those who put business over saving lives in the midst of a global pandemic that has claimed millions of lives worldwide.
“With some exceptions, governments have made great efforts to put the wellbeing of their people first, acting decisively to protect health and to save lives,” the pope said in the book. Yet there are other governments that put the economy before public health. “Those governments have mortgaged their people.”
Pope Francis, 83, also called out COVID-19 deniers and those “who peddle these narratives for their own gain.
“Some media have used this crisis to persuade people that foreigners are to blame, that coronavirus is little more than a little bout of flu, that everything will soon return to what it was before, and that restrictions necessary for people’s protections amount to an unjust demand of an interfering state.”
A Message of Hope
Yet there is a great deal of hope for humanity. In order to help individuals and societies build a better world, the pope draws not only on sacred sources, but on the latest findings from renowned scientists, economists, activists, and other thinkers. Throughout the book, he offers unique observations on why women’s leadership in the church and throughout society must be dramatically increased, and shares what he learned while on the streets of Buenos Aires with garbage pickers, among other surprising observations.