- Pope Expresses Solidarity with French President Macron: Global Ceasefire And Debt Relief Needed
by http://www.sconews.co.uk/, 22 April 2020
The pope expressed his closeness to France to the country’s president, where COVID-19 has claimed more than 20,000 lives.
The Holy Father and president Emmanuel Macron spoke via phone call for 45 minutes yesterday afternoon, where the pope expressed his solidarity with the people of France. The president’s office stated the pope positively acknowledged ‘the constructive responses taken by France at the international level after the health crisis caused by the pandemic.’ The Holy See press office has so far not released a statement regarding the conversation, given its private nature.
However, a spokesperson for Mr Macron revealed the two agreed that a global ceasefire is also necessary. This backs up the pope’s appeal made during his Easter Sunday Urbi et Orbi message, where he said: “May Christ our peace enlighten all who have responsibility in conflicts, that they may have the courage to support the appeal for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world.” He also stated that there is no place for indifference, selfishness or division during this time.
He said: “May all nations be put in a position to meet the greatest needs of the moment through the reduction, if not the forgiveness, of the debt burdening the balance sheets of the poorest nations.”
President Macron agreed with the pope, announcing the possibility of cancelling the debt of African countries in their fight against COVID-19. With over 20,000 deaths in France due to the virus, the country is the third worst hit in the world, after Italy and Spain. The president’s office said Mr Macron and the pope stressed their convergence of views on the issues and revealed that Mr Macron renewed his invitation to the pope to France.