Podcast: Pope Francis assembled a coronavirus taskforce. What’s next?

Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, met with physicians and other staff dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic at Rome's Gemelli hospital April 3, 2020. The cardinal will lead the Vatican's coronavirus task force. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Pope Francis has focused his messages to the world this week on the importance of international cooperation and the sharing of resources in order to overcome the coronavirus pandemic and build a more equitable society.

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On this episode of “Inside the Vatican,” America’s Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell and I discuss the vision Pope Francis laid out in his new “plan for rising up again.”

Then, we talk about the task force the pope has assembled to actualize this vision. He appointed to its steering committee an Argentinian priest who is an expert in economics and has experience working with the Vatican on environmental issues and with church humanitarian organizations in areas affected by epidemics. Gerry explains Father Augusto Zampini’s connections to the pope and the work he will be doing in this key decision-making role.

One aspect of the task force’s work will be finding new ways for the Vatican to raise money to cover its operating expenses and provide aid to other nations. On the show, Gerry breaks down where the Vatican’s money comes from and how those sources are quickly drying up. We also cover a slew of meeting and conference cancellations at the Vatican.

Links from the show:

On Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis urges countries to put aside ‘selfish indifference’ during coronavirus pandemic

Pope Francis shares his vision for Covid-19 aftermath

Pope Francis taps Argentinian priest to help lead Vatican response to coronavirus crisis

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