Pope Francis once again used his weekly general audience Wednesday at the Vatican to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and urged the world's leaders to remember all segments of society as they fight the coronavirus and work to rebuild world economies.
Speaking before a limited group of masked faithful in a Vatican courtyard, Francis said everyone has something to contribute as the world attempts to emerge from this crisis But, he said, society's leaders must respect and promote "the intermediate or lower levels" of society.
He added that multinationals and pharmaceutical companies do not have all the answers.
"The largest financial companies are listened to rather than the people or the ones who really move the economy," Pope Francis said Wednesday. "Multinational companies are listened to more than social movements. Putting it in everyday language, they listen more to the powerful than to the weak."
The pope called for an inclusive rethink of the economic, social and political structures of the global economy that he says have showed weakness during the health crisis.
Francis has long insisted on the need to involve society's most marginal groups — the indigenous, the poor and the elderly — in making decisions about their own future.
"Let's think about the cure for the virus; the large pharmaceutical companies are listened to more than the health care workers employed on the front lines in hospitals or in refugee camps. This is not a good path," said Pope Francis.
The pope next week is expected to release an encyclical on fraternity and solidarity in the post-COVID world.