Pope Francis calls for suspension of Covid-19 vaccine patents in ‘Vax Live’ concert video

Pope Francis calls for suspension of Covid-19 vaccine patents in ‘Vax Live’ concert video

A collage of Pope Francis and the Vax Live logo. VATICAN NEWS

By Courtney Mares

Catholic News Agency

May 8, 2021

VATICAN— Pope Francis called for the “temporary suspension of intellectual property rights” for COVID-19 vaccines in his video message to the “Vax Live” concert co-chaired by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

“The coronavirus has produced death and suffering, affecting the lives of everyone, especially the most vulnerable,” Pope Francis said in his message to the concert, which will be broadcast on May 8.

“I beg you not to forget the most vulnerable,” the pope said.

More than 20,000 vaccinated people filled a stadium at “Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World,” which was pre-taped on May 2 in Los Angeles.

The concert was organized by Global Citizen, an advocacy organization founded in Australia in 2008 focused on poverty reduction, with support from the Coca-Cola company, Delta Airlines, Verizon, Citi, Cisco, and Procter & Gamble.

Selena Gomez hosted the concert which included performances by Jennifer Lopez and the Foo Fighters, as well as appearances by David Letterman, Ben Affleck, and Chrissy Teigen.

In the pope’s video message, he said that a “sick economy” is one that “allows a very rich few, a very rich few, to own more than the rest of humanity.”

Pope Francis also spoke about the “virus of individualism” and the “virus of closed nationalism,” which he said stands in the way of the “internationalism of vaccines.”

“God the Creator instills in our hearts a new and generous spirit to abandon our individualisms and promote the common good: a spirit of justice that mobilizes us to ensure universal access to the vaccine and the temporary suspension of intellectual property rights; a spirit of communion that allows us to generate a different, more inclusive, fair and sustainable economic model,” he said.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden also sent a video message to the Vax Live concert, in which the president said that the United States is “working with leaders around the world to share more vaccines.”

Pope Francis recorded his video message in Spanish. It was played on a large projection screen at the concert. The pope said: “Dear young people in age and spirit: Receive a cordial greeting from this old man, who does not dance or sing like you do, but who believes with you that injustice and evil are not invincible.”

“God, physician and savior of all, comfort the suffering, welcome into his kingdom those who have already departed,” he said.

“And I also ask this God for us, pilgrims on earth, to grant us the gift of a new brotherhood, a universal solidarity, that we can recognize the good and the beauty that he sowed in each one of us, to strengthen bonds of unity, of common projects, of shared hopes.”

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