Pope Francis says people working against democracy must be condemned whoever they are, and lessons should be learned from this week’s attack on the US Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.
Rioters surged into the building on Wednesday after Trump urged them to go the Capitol and press his baseless claims that he won re-election in November.
Five people, including a police officer, died in the ensuing chaos.
“I was astonished because they are people so disciplined in democracy,” the pontiff told Italy’s Canale 5 news channel in his first public comments on the events.
“There is always something that isn’t working … people taking a path against the community, against democracy, against the common good.
“Thank God that this has burst into the open and is clear to see well, because like this you can put it right.
“Yes, this must be condemned, this movement, no matter who is involved in it.”
The Pope said violence could flare anywhere and it was important to understand what had gone wrong and to learn from history.
“(Fringe) groups that are not well inserted into society sooner or later will commit this sort of violence,” he said.
He also said that he planned to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as early as next week and urged others to get a shot, not only for themselves but to protect others.
“I believe that ethically everyone should take the vaccine,” Pope Francis said.
Pope Francis, 84, had part of one lung removed during an illness when he was a young man in his native Argentina, making him potentially vulnerable to the disease.
Vatican City last week said it expected to receive enough COVID-19 vaccine doses in the following days to inoculate all of its residents and its workers who live beyond its walls in Rome.