The debate on the Coronavirus origin has started since the day China reported its first COVID-19 case. Along with the emergence of several conspiracy theories, many scientists have also revealed what they understood about the pandemic and the pathogen. Recently, a Vatican cardinal said it does not "come from God" but possibly from a laboratory.
The cardinal (the leading bishop in the Roman Catholic Church), Angelo Comastri, who is serving as the archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, said in an interview that the virus which affected millions of people around the world "does not come from God," as "God is not a punisher but a redeemer," and denounced the great powers of the world for organizing "bacteriological wars."
Comastri said as per the Church and the Gospel from Jesus himself, "it's God who gives freedom to do good and, if we don't [do good], we're the ones who hurt ourselves. It's not Christ who ruins our lives." During the interview, he mentioned that God "taught us love" but humans close their eyes and ears to God's message.
While referring to the claims that SARS-CoV- 2 escaped from Wuhan Institute of Virology, where scientists have been studying the bat Coronavirus for years, the Italian cardinal also added that the world's most powerful countries are now organizing world wars, including bacteriological wars.
His comments came months after the U.S. and China started the blame game around the pandemic. While many researchers denied that the virus was not man-made and a result of an accident at the lab, politicians in the West continued to blame Beijing for its lack of transparency and deliberately allowing the outbreak to become a pandemic.
Recently, U.S. President Donald Trump reiterated his belief that Xi Jinping's government may have "intentionally" allowed the deadly Coronavirus to spread beyond its borders to damage other global economies. But Chinese officials have denied all such claims and said that they did everything to control the spread of the virus.
This vocal war between the two countries included the role of the World Health Organization (WHO). While earlier the U.N. agency was accused of being China-centric, as per recent reports, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the Geneva-based organization was bought by China and is responsible for the deaths of British citizens.
Apart from COVID-19, Comastri also talked about several issues, including dialogue with Islam, days after Turkey decided to turn a historic Byzantine basilica, Hagia Sophia, into a mosque.
He clearly mentioned in the interview that no mosque was ever turned into a Catholic Church, and "no Catholic has ever shot at an imam." While referring to the attempted assassination on Pope St. John Paul II by a Turkish citizen Mehmet Ali Ağca, Comastri said, "They've even shot the Pope himself, on May 13, 1981, in St. Peter's Square."
If they want dialogue, it must be done with fair and honest weapons, "with the honesty of looking into each other's eyes and answering with facts," the Italian cardinal said.