Francis also raised concerns over priests who have been insulted because of the Catholic Church’s child sex-abuse scandals.
“Today I carry you in my heart and I carry you to the altar,” he said.
“Ugly things are said to [many priests], in reference to the drama we have experienced with the discovery of priests who did ugly things,″ the pope added. “Some tell me they cannot leave their home wearing the clerical collar because they’re insulted.”
Ceremonies in Vatican City have been severely disrupted by the coronavirus crisis as the large crowds of tourists and Roman Catholics who normally crowd St. Peter’s Square have been absent following the prohibition of large gatherings.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.