In an email interview published by the The Tablet and Commonwealth magazine, the pope stated that the coronavirus is an opportunity for humanity to slow its rate of consumption and contemplate our relationship with nature.
"We did not respond to the partial catastrophes. Who now speaks of the fires in Australia, or remembers that 18 months ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted? Who speaks now of the floods?" the Pope said.
"I don't know if these are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature's responses," he added.
Pope Francis also said in the interview he was recovering from his bronchitis and praying even more during this "time of great uncertainty."
The Pope, who has damaged lung from an infection in his twenties, presides over a silent Vatican City and gave service to an empty church that was once filled with tourists. He has been distanced from anyone who might carry the virus, he takes his meals in his private chambers, and he regularly uses sanitizer before and after meeting people.
In the interview, the Pope decried the response to the pandemic and the treatment of the poor, especially the homeless population. "A photo appeared the other day of a parking lot in Las Vegas where they [the homeless] had been put in quarantine. And the hotels were empty. But the homeless cannot go to a hotel," the Pope said.
"This is the moment to see the poor," he said, adding that society often treats those in need as "rescued animals."
Finally, he warned against the recent spate of populist politicians who espouse platforms similar to Hitler in 1933 and whose primary focus is on their national economies over the welfare of their citizenry. He address the "hypocrisy of certain political personalities who speak of facing up to the crisis, of the problem of hunger in the world, but who in the meantime manufacture weapons."