Pope Francis calls getting the COVID-19 vaccine ‘an act of love’

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NEW YORK – Pope Francis along with members of the clergy appear in a PSA promoting the COVID-19 vaccines.

The PSA is from the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative in cooperation with the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development.

The message in the video is delivered in English, Spanish, and Portuguese in order to reach a worldwide audience. The PSA reminds people that “COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and save lives.”

“Thanks to God’s grace and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from COVID-19,” Pope Francis said in the PSA. “Getting the vaccines that are authorized by the respective authorities is an act of love. I pray to God that each one of us can make his or her own small gesture of love, no matter how small, love is always grand.”

There are six other clergy members in the video with Pope Francis including Cardinals and Archbishops from North, Central, and South America.

This PSA comes two days after it was announced Monday that Cardinal Raymond Burch, Archbishop Emeritus of St. Louis, is on a ventilator due to COVID-19.

Burke announced to his Twitter followers on Aug. 10 that he had tested positive for the virus.

The 73-year-old was named Archbishop of St. Louis in Dec. 2003 and installed to the post in Jan. 2004. He led the archdiocese until June 2008 when he was transferred to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest judicial authority in the Catholic Church, aside from the pope.

Pope Francis later removed Burke from the Apostolic Signatura in Nov. 2014 and named him Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

In March 2020, just as the pandemic was unfolding in the United States, Cardinal Burke released a statement calling for churches and places of worship to remain open and seemed to imply COVID as a punishment of sorts.

“In the same light, a person of faith cannot consider the present calamity in which we find ourselves without considering also how distant our popular culture is from God,” Burke wrote. “It is not only indifferent to His presence in our midst but openly rebellious toward Him and the good order with which He has created us and sustains us in being.”

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