A Vatican cardinal is urging the world to set aside individualism and isolationism in the fight against COVID-19.

– After the coronavirus, “the world will become a much smaller place”

After the coronavirus, “I believe that the world will become a much smaller place, because we have to worry about and care about every corner of this world”, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, the Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, told Vatican News in an interview April 21.

“We can no longer be an individual thinking about an individual country or an individual situation… because what happens 500 miles away, 2,000 or 5,000 miles away, affects us all”, the Irish-born US cardinal explained.

“COVID-19 affects every corner of the world today, which shows that the human race is all one family.

“I would hope that the greatest lesson that we would all learn in this experience is precisely that: that we are all one family. What happens to one of us will happen to each and every one of us. We need to care for other people”.

– World Meeting of Familes, World Youth Day, both postponed a year

Cardinal Farrell also explained to Vatican News the decision to postpone a year the World Meeting of Families (WMF) and World Youth Day (WYD) from 2021 and 2022 to 2022 and 2023 respectively.

The organisational, logistical, and economic aspects of planning such events were important factors in the decision to push them back in time, the cardinal said.

Normally, planning for major international events of this kind takes place a year or more in advance.

In these times, the cardinal explained, “it would be imprudent of us to make that decision now, because we do not know exactly what the situation of our world will be as this pandemic comes to an end”.

Cardinal Farrell also expressed sympathy for people making plans for their families.

Both the WMF and WYD draw large crowds from all over the world. It would be unreasonable to make plans for one’s family so soon after a major epidemic.

Safety concerns are important too, Cardinal Farrell said: “It’s just not prudent” to have very large gatherings of people “until we know they are going to be safe”.

– COVID-19 cases in Vatican rise to 9

In the meantime, and also from Rome, another case of COVID-19 has been confirmed among residents of Vatican City and among Vatican employees, taking the total number of positive cases in the Holy See to 9

“In recent days a ninth case of COVID-19 has been added to the eight already recorded in Vatican City State and among the employees of the Holy See”, said a brief statement on Monday evening by the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni.

“The person has been placed in mandatory self-quarantine”, Bruni said, adding that the patient is now in hospital. 

Appropriate sanitisation measures and checks, he said, have been carried out among those who came in contact with the person on the only day of the person’s presence at work in the two weeks preceding the confirmation.

No other person in the Vatican has been infected, the Holy See spokesman claimed.

(With information from Vatican News)

More from the Vatican on COVID-19:

On COVID-19 rescue, Vatican official tells governments “don’t repeat the mistakes” of 2008 GFC bailouts

Pontifical Academies warn after COVID-19 “the world cannot return to business as usual”

Praising doctors and nurses, papal almoner says Church “learning Gospel from laity” during COVID19

Cardinal Turkson: Vatican mobilising Church’s “whole network of charity and solidarity” to tackle COVID-19


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