ROME — Pope Francis is rallying people to banish social ills like indifference, fear of foreigners and of whatever is different from us.
Francis decried the "viruses" afflicting society during an appearance Friday near Rome's Spanish Steps, an annual tradition marking the start of the city's holiday season.
He also prayed that people develop "antibodies" to social ailments including "resignation about environmental and ethical degradation."
In his speech, delivered in the form of a prayer to the Virgin Mary, he listed other social ills. Among them, the pope cited "indifference that says 'it's not my problem,' civic rudeness scorning the common good, fear of what is different and of the foreigner."
He also recalled the struggle of those who "emigrated here from lands of war and hunger."