In this historical and social situation, what is God doing? He takes up the cross. Jesus takes up the cross, that is, he takes on the evil that this situation entails, the physical and psychological evil — and above all the spiritual evil — because the Evil One is taking advantage of the crisis to disseminate distrust, desperation, and discord.
Sure. Because as we all know, distrust, desperation, and discord didn’t exist until roughly March of last year. But then Satan saw an opening and just went for it.
While this is standard religious rhetoric, Reuters correctly points out that this isn’t just a metaphor for the pope. Catholics believe Satan is real. While it’s true that the pandemic has caused a lot of emotional and psychological pain, it makes no sense to blame that on anyone else. It’s been tough for everyone. The Devil isn’t responsible for how we reacted, though.
In the same speech, by the way, the pope didn’t bother blaming God for the existence of COVID or thanking the scientists who discovered vaccines against it.
(Screenshot via YouTube. Thanks to Som for the link)