Pope Francis has urged people to get vaccinated against Covid-19, describing doing so as “an act of love”.

The pontiff made his appeal in a video produced by the Vatican and the Ad Council, a non-profit US group that has previously made videos promoting vaccination against Covid. He praised the work of scientists for producing safe and effective vaccines.

“Thanks to God and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from Covid-19,” he said in the video. “Vaccines bring hope to end the pandemic, but only if they are available to all and if we collaborate with one another.”

Francis said being inoculated with vaccines authorised by competent authorities was “an act of love”. “Vaccination is a simple but profound way of promoting the common good and caring for each other, especially the most vulnerable,” he said.

The pope has previously spoken about the importance of the Covid-19 jab, while emphasising that vaccinations must be distributed equally, especially to poor countries. The video is aimed at a global audience, and features bishops from the US and Central and South America.

Francis has faced scepticism about vaccines from traditionalist cardinals, including from his staunch critic, the American cardinal Raymond Leo Burke. Burke, who has also expressed scepticism over social distancing measures, last week announced on Twitter that he had “recently” tested positive for Covid.

A subsequent tweet from his account on Saturday said he had been admitted to hospital and was on a ventilator. It is unclear whether Burke, who lives in Rome but travels frequently, had been vaccinated and it is thought he may have contracted the virus during a recent trip to Wisconsin.

Burke has previously criticised the way governments have handled the pandemic and vaccines. Last December he referred to Covid-19 as the “Wuhan virus”, echoing the former US president Donald Trump. And last May, he spoke out forcefully against Covid vaccines, saying: “It must be clear that vaccination itself cannot be imposed, in a totalitarian manner, on citizens.”

Burke also said coronavirus “has been used by certain forces, inimical to families and to the freedom of nations, to advance their evil agenda”, and that the most effective weapon against Covid was “our relationship with Christ through prayer and penance, and devotions and sacred worship”.

Contributor

Angela Giuffrida

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Pope Francis: economic crisis creating a generation of isolated youth
Catholic church's first Latin American pontiff calls for inclusivity on his way to World Youth Day celebrations in Brazil

Lizzy Davies in Rome

22, Jul, 2013 @4:13 PM

Article image
Pope Francis compares abortion to hiring a hitman
Pope makes one of his harshest criticisms of abortion, telling weekly audience ‘it is not right’

Angela Giuffrida in Rome

10, Oct, 2018 @11:31 AM

Pope Francis attacks inequality on visit to Brazilian slum
Pontiff criticises 'culture of selfishness and individualism' and urges more efforts to fight poverty

Jonathan Watts in Rio de Janeiro

25, Jul, 2013 @5:38 PM

Article image
Pope Francis finds himself in US immigration debate after Mexico visit
The pontiff is expected to pray for the estimated 6,000 migrants who have died crossing the Mexican border since 2000, drawing ire from Donald Trump

Jamiles Lartey and agencies

17, Feb, 2016 @7:02 PM

Article image
Salvadoran priest Óscar Romero to be declared saint by Pope Francis
The canonisation of the assassinated archbishop will take place on Sunday in Rome

Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent

11, Oct, 2018 @4:00 AM

Article image
Pope Francis to visit favela indicative of Catholicism on the wane in Brazil
Tour comes amid division over how to stem flow of believers, particularly from poor communities, towards evangelism

Jonathan Watts in Varginha

21, Jul, 2013 @3:42 PM

Article image
Murdered Salvadoran priest Óscar Romero to be made a saint
Pope Francis approves miracle attributed to former archbishop of San Salvador

Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent

07, Mar, 2018 @12:36 PM

Article image
Pope Francis criticised for rarely wearing face mask
Prominent Catholics say pontiff should be setting an example during Covid pandemic

Harriet Sherwood

26, Oct, 2020 @12:41 PM

Article image
Pope Francis tells gay man: 'God made you like this'
Juan Carlos Cruz, who was sexually abused, says pontiff told him God did not mind that he was gay

Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome

20, May, 2018 @12:06 PM

Article image
Pope Francis to visit Ireland soon after abortion referendum
Pontiff to visit in August, three months after country votes on whether to repeal ban

Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent

21, Mar, 2018 @11:03 AM