In addressing 183 ambassadors accredited to the Holy See on 9 February 2021, Pope Francis exhorted their governments to use the pandemic to create a fairer economy. He said the pandemic had shone a light on five interlocking crises facing the world in health, the environment, economic and social issues, politics and in human relationships. These crises “set before us a choice: either to continue on the road we have followed until now, or to set out on a new path.”
Among the elements Francis said would mark that new path:
- Universal access to basic health care.
- Equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines.
- An effective agreement at the next United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held in Glasgow in November, to curb greenhouse emissions.
- A rethinking of the relationship between individuals and the economy.
On the last point, the Pope likened the need for changes to the global market system as akin to the 17th-century realisation that the Earth revolved around the sun, saying it is time “for a kind of ‘new Copernican revolution’ that can put the economy at the service of men and women, not vice versa.”