Pope Francis delivers a homily during Palm Sunday Mass behind closed doors in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, April 5, 2020, during the lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus. Image Credit: AP

Pope Francis called for patience and solidarity while criticizing those who complain about restrictive measures during the coronavirus pandemic, according to an interview published Sunday by Serbia-based Politika newspaper.

He praised what he called urban heroes "who take responsibility toward others and look for a concrete solution so no one is left behind."

"On the other hand, we have an increase in numbers of those who mercilessly profited from the misfortune of others, those who think only about themselves, who protested or complained about certain restrictive measures, unable to accept that not everyone has the same abilities and resources to face the pandemic," according to the Serbian-language transcript.

"We don't come out of the crisis the same, we can become better or worse, but never the same," the pontiff was quoted as saying, warning that all crises can intensify existing injustices but they can also bring out the best in people.

Countries trying to salvage their economies risk "forgetting that an authentic development must promote all people and human as a whole."

"We need change. The pandemic brought our organizational and developmental models into a crisis; it exposed many injustices, the troubling silence and social and health failures, subjecting a great number of our brothers to the processes of social exclusion and degradation," the pope said.