POPE Francis has told 183 Holy See diplomats that their nations must emerge from the pandemic with a policy focus on equal access to COVID-19 vaccines, building a fairer market economy, addressing climate change and ensuring health care for citizens.
He said there was a choice to be made – “to continue on the road we have followed until now, or to set out on a new path”.
Pope Francis’ annual foreign policy address called for a “new Copernican revolution” of capitalist markets to put the economy at the service of men and women, not vice versa.
In remarks only the day before for the Feast Day of St Josephine Bakhita, Pope Francis called for economic changes that promoted an end to human trafficking as well as protecting the dignity of workers.
An economy without human trafficking will require “the courage of patient construction, of planning that does not look always and only at the very short-term gains, but at the medium and long-term fruits and, above all, at people,” he said in a video message marking the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking.
The COVID-19 pandemic has “worsened the conditions of labor exploitation,” Pope Francis said.
“Job losses have penalized many trafficked persons in the process of rehabilitation and social reintegration.”
The Pontiff said that in times of crisis, human trafficking increases, “therefore, we need to strengthen an economy that may respond to the crisis in a way that is not short-sighted,” but that aims for a solid, long-lasting solution.