Pope denounces individualism highlighted by pandemic

Pope denounces individualism highlighted by pandemic
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Pope FrancisPope FrancisVatican cardinal in charge of saint making resigns amid financial scandal Nuns criticize Catholic group for giving Barr award for 'Christlike behavior' Pope seeks to prevent Mafia from using Virgin Mary imagery MORE on Wednesday denounced what he described as a culture of individualism that's been exposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The pontiff, speaking in Vatican City, called on the faithful to "overcome our personal and collective individualism" and take care of those who are more vulnerable to the deadly virus, The Associated Press reported.

The World Health Organization says the risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms increases with age. Older adults and those with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart or lung disease and cancer are at an even higher risk.

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"The pandemic has revealed how vulnerable and interconnected we all are," Francis said, adding it has made us "more aware of the spread within our societies of a false, individualistic way of thinking, one that rejects human dignity and relationships, views persons as consumer goods and creates a 'throw-away' culture."

Italy has recorded 251,237 coronavirus cases and 35,215 deaths, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.