On Sunday, Pope Francis streamed his midday Angelus address from the Library of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace – a different location than his normal spot in the now-empty Saint Peter’s Square because of the coronavirus.

At the end of his address, he echoed an appeal made by the United Nations for an “immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world” amidst the global pandemic, saying that “the current emergency of COVID-19 … knows no borders.”

“I join all those that have listened to this appeal and I invite all to follow it up, halting all forms of warlike hostility, fostering the creation of corridors for humanitarian aid, openness to diplomacy and attention to those that find themselves in a situation of greatest vulnerability.

Pope Francis prayed that our combined global fight against coronavirus would promote solidarity and unity, saying that “conflicts are not resolved through war” and that “antagonisms and oppositions” must be overcome “through dialogue and a constructive search for peace.”

“May the joint commitment against the pandemic be able to bring all to recognize our need to reinforce fraternal bonds with members of the one family; in particular, may it awaken in nations’ leaders and other parties involved a renewed commitment to overcome rivalries.” 

Pope Francis also made a special appeal to the plight of those incarcerated, where overcrowded prisons could become a tragedy in the face of coronavirus.

“I would like to mention people in prisons. I have read an official memo from the Human Rights Commission which talks about the problem of overcrowded prisons which could become a tragedy. I call on the authorities to be sensitive to this serious problem and to take the necessary measures to prevent future tragedies.” 

Following the appeal by the United Nations and Pope Francis, armed groups in Cameroon, the Philippines, Yemen, and Syria took steps to reduce violence in the past recent days.

Watch Pope Francis’ Angelus below:

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