Pope Francis has given a short telephone interviewto La Repubblica newspaper about the coronavirus, urging people not to waste these difficult days but use them to show closeness and affection to family and friends.
“We must rediscover the concreteness of little things, small gestures of attention we can offer those close to us, our family, our friends,” he said. “We must understand that in small things lies our treasure.”
He pointed out that often today we only communicate virtually and families often eat together in silence looking “like monks, all isolated from each other.” He urged people to listen to one another and so understand each other’s “needs, efforts and desires” and to stay close to those who have lost loved ones.
The Pope also said he was impressed by a recent La Repubblica article whose author argued that those who don’t pay taxes commit a felony as it would be their fault if there are not enough hospital beds and artificial respirators.
Francis said a person who doesn’t have faith can find strength in love for their family members, and find hope in the love of people around him.
Asked what he prayed for in the two Roman churches he visited on Sunday, he said: “I asked the Lord to stop the epidemic: Lord, stop it with your hand. That’s what I prayed for.”