'Communist': Far-right extremists explode in anger after Pope Francis applauds life-saving COVID restrictions

'Communist': Far-right extremists explode in anger after Pope Francis applauds life-saving COVID restrictions
Photo via Catholic Church England and Wales.
'Communist': Far-right extremists explode in anger after Pope Francis applauds life-saving COVID restrictions

In an op-ed published by the New York Times on Thanksgiving, Pope Francis defended some of the social distancing restrictions that have been enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic — applauding governments that have been "acting decisively to protect health and to save lives" by "imposing strict measures to contain the outbreak." And some right-wingers have responded by slamming the Pope as a "socialist" or a "communist."

The Pope explains, "Most governments acted responsibly, imposing strict measures to contain the outbreak. Yet some groups protested, refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions — as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom! Looking to the common good is much more than the sum of what is good for individuals. It means having a regard for all citizens and seeking to respond effectively to the needs of the least fortunate."

According to The Pope, "If we are to come out of this crisis less selfish than when we went in, we have to let ourselves be touched by others' pain." And practicing social distancing, he writes, is one way to look after the wellbeing of others."

Some on the far right have been furious:



The Daily Beast's Molly Jong-Fast noted how unhinged the responses from the far right have been:

And others have been rising to the Pope's defense:



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