Pope holds first public audience in months

Pope holds first public audience in months
Pope Francis, sitting centre right, during his general audience, the first with faithful since February when the coronavirus outbreak broke out, at the San Damaso courtyard at the Vatican (Andrew Medichini/AP)

Pope Francis has held his first public general audience after a pause of nearly six months due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Francis used Wednesday’s audience to call for solidarity as the way to exit the crisis.

The pope said: “The current pandemic has highlighted our interdependence: We are all linked to each other, for better or for worse.”

Pope Francis with Lebanese priest Georges Breidi as they hold a Lebanese flag in a moment of prayer in remembrance of last month’s explosion in Beirut (Andrew Medichini/AP)

He added: “To come out of this crisis better than before, we have to do so together, all of us, in solidarity.”

About 500 faithful attended the audience in the Vatican’s San Damaso courtyard.

Under strict safety rules, the faithful kept social distances as they sat in the courtyard and were all required to wear masks.

Pope Francis speaks to faithful wearing face masks (Andrew Medichini/AP)

The pope did not wear one as he met the crowd, but kept a safe distance from the faithful, who were cheering and waving at him.

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