Pope Francis calls opposition to Covid vaccines 'suicidal denial'

Leader of world's 1.2 billion Catholics to be inoculated next week

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis wearing a face mask attends an inter-religious prayer service for peace along with other religious representatives in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, a church on top of Rome's Capitoline Hill, in Rome, Italy, Oct. 20, 2020. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/File Photo

Pope Francis is urging people to get vaccinated against Covid-19, saying he will be inoculated against the coronavirus next week when the Vatican begins its vaccination campaign.

"There is a suicidal denial which I cannot explain, but today we have to get vaccinated," the pontiff said in an interview with Italian media outlet Canale 5 due to be broadcast in full on Sunday.

The pope's remarks came on the same day Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip received their Covid jabs.

The  queen is usually private  about her health but broke with tradition to make public the inoculations.

Pope Francis went on to condemn the mob attack on the US Capitol on Wednesday.

"This must be condemned, this movement, regardless of the people involved," he said, on the day that US Democrats started to mobilise to impeach US President Donald Trump.

The pontiff did see some cause for hope, however, thanking God that "this exploded [into the open] so it can be seen, so it can be remedied".

“Violence is always like this, isn’t it? No population can boast of not having one day a case of violence. It happens in history.

"But we must understand well, so as not to repeat it, learn from history, learn that groups…that are not well integrated into society, sooner or later will have these eruptions of violence.”

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