LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
It’s an Easter Sunday like no different in reminiscence. On the Vatican, Pope Francis celebrated mass contained in the huge St. Peter’s Basilica with solely roughly a dozen in attendance, with one particular person seated per pew. NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli watched the service on tv from her condominium in Rome, and she or he joins us now. Good morning.
SYLVIA POGGIOLI, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Completely happy Easter.
POGGIOLI: Completely happy Easter.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. Please describe the scene on the Vatican for us. How did the pope look?
POGGIOLI: Nicely, in contrast to he did in all his latest occasions, very pensive, and he seems very drained. You already know, usually for Easter, there may very well be as much as 100,000 individuals in St. Peter’s Sq.. This yr, it is off limits. So he celebrated the mass inside, as you stated, with only a few assistants. And the chook’s eyes photographs broadcast by the Vatican confirmed these – huge empty expanse with these only a few small figures.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It’s extremely somber at a time which is so joyous within the Christian religion. Sylvia, after the mass, the pope did give his common Easter tackle to the town and the world. Usually, he stands on the balcony of the Basilica, and he addresses the crowds who’re cheering. Did Francis converse from the balcony this yr?
POGGIOLI: No, he stayed inside. And his message, I believe, was his most political ever. This isn’t a time for indifference, self-centeredness, division and forgetfulness, he stated. The pandemic is oppressing and testing our entire human household. He referred to as on politicians to supply the assets for everybody – everybody’s must – and for worldwide sanctions to be lifted and for debt reduction for poor nations. However his particular thought was for Europe, which, after World Conflict II, he stated, was capable of rise once more due to a concrete spirit of solidarity that enabled it to beat rivalries of the previous.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
POPE FRANCIS: (Talking Italian).
POGGIOLI: “The European Union,” he stated, “is presently going through an epical problem on which can rely not solely its future however that of the entire world. Allow us to not lose the chance to present additional proof of solidarity.” Lulu, that is a transparent reference to the north-south divide within the European Union over burden sharing and monetary help for its hardest-hit southern members.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It looks like this pandemic has kind of reworked the pope himself in a method.
POGGIOLI: Yeah, I believe he has emerged as a logo of resistance. On March 27, he appeared alone below the rain in St. Peter’s Sq. and prayed for an finish to the epidemic. It was a strong picture. The best way he speaks concerning the disaster, you already know, it kind of displays his imaginative and prescient of the Catholic Church that he calls a area hospital after battle. He says it is ineffective to ask a severely injured particular person if he has ldl cholesterol. It’s a must to heal the injuries after which discuss all the things else. That is his message in what he calls the – our darkest hour.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That was NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli in Rome. Thanks very a lot.
POGGIOLI: Thanks, Lulu.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Singing in Non-English language). Transcript offered by NPR, Copyright NPR.