"When we consign children to deprivation, the poor to hunger, the persecuted to war, the old to abandonment, are we not instead doing, the 'dirty' work of death? Where does the dirty work of death come from? It comes from sin ". Thinking about bioethics, not "starting from illness and death", but "from the profound conviction of the irrevocable dignity of the human person".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Life is sacred, be it that of the unborn child, that of the poor who battle exclusion, the victims of trafficking and euthanasia, the elderly and discarded, said Pope Francis in his address to participants in the General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Life, received today.
"Human life - he said - is always sacred, and love requires it for every person beyond his or her stage of development. But equally sacred is the life of the poor who are already born, who are struggling in misery, abandonment, exclusion, trafficking in persons, in the hidden euthanasia of the sick and the elderly deprived of care, in the new forms of slavery , and in all form of waste "
"The wisdom that should inspire our attitude towards human ecology is urged to consider the ethical and spiritual quality of life in all its phases. There is a conceived human life, a life in gestation, a life come to light, a child's life, a teenage life, an adult life, an aged and consummate life - and eternal life exists. There is a life that is family and community, a life that is invocation and hope. Just as there is fragile and sick human life, wounded, offended, dejected, marginalized, discarded life. It is always human life. It is the life of human persons, who inhabit the earth created by God and share the common home with all living creatures. Certainly in the biology laboratories life is studied with the tools that allow us to explore its physical, chemical and mechanical aspects. A very important and indispensable study, but which must be integrated with a broader and deeper perspective, which calls for attention to the properly human life, which bursts on the world stage with the prodigy of word and of thought, affections and spirit ".
"The 'beautiful' work of life - he said - is the generation of a new person, the education of their spiritual and creative qualities, the initiation to the love of family and community, the care for their vulnerabilities and wounds; as well as initiation into their life of children of God, in Jesus Christ ".
"When we consign children to deprivation, the poor to hunger, the persecuted to war, the old to abandonment, are we not instead doing, the 'dirty' work of death? Where does the dirty work of death come from? It comes from sin. Evil tries to persuade us that death is the end of everything, that we have come to the world by chance and we are destined to end up in nothingness. Excluding the other from our horizon, life folds back on itself and becomes a consumer good. Narcissus, the character of ancient mythology, who loves himself and ignores the good of others, is naive and does not even realize it. Meanwhile, however, it spreads a very contagious spiritual virus, which condemns us to become mirror-men and mirror-women, who see only themselves and nothing else. It is like becoming blind to life and its dynamic, as a gift received from others and asking to be placed responsibly in circulation for others ".
"The global vision of bioethics, which you are preparing to relaunch on the field of social ethics and of planetary humanism, strengthened by Christian inspiration, will engage with more seriousness and rigor to defuse complicity with the dirty work of death, sustained by sin ". Global bioethics will therefore be a specific way to develop the perspective of integral ecology that is proper to Laudato si '. "It will rather move from the profound conviction of the irrevocable dignity of the human person, as God loves us, the dignity of every person, in every phase and condition of their existence, in the search for the forms of love and care that must be addressed to their vulnerability and fragility ".
According to Francis, human ecology also includes the care and respect for one's own body. "In fact" our body places us in a direct relationship with the environment and with other living beings. Acceptance of one's body as a gift from God is necessary to acceptance of the whole world as a gift from the Father and a common home; instead a logic of dominion over one's own body is transformed into a sometimes subtle logic of dominion over creation ". "Even to appreciate one's own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary in order to recognize oneself in the encounter with the other different from oneself" (Laudato si ', 155) ".
"We must therefore proceed with a careful discernment of the complex fundamental differences of human life: of man and woman, of fatherhood and motherhood, of filiation and fraternity, of sociality and also of all the different ages of life. As well as all the difficult conditions and all the delicate or dangerous passages that require special ethical wisdom and courageous moral resistance: sexuality and generation, sickness and old age, insufficiency and disability, deprivation and exclusion. , violence and war ".
Global bioethics, then, "urges us therefore to the wisdom of a profound and objective discernment of the value of personal and community life, which must be preserved and promoted even in the most difficult conditions".
"Finally, the culture of life must take a more serious look at the" serious question "of its ultimate destination. It is a matter of highlighting with greater clarity what directs the existence of man towards a horizon that surpasses him: every person is gratuitously called "to communion with God himself as a son and to participate in his own happiness. [...] The Church teaches that eschatological hope does not diminish the importance of earthly commitments, but rather gives new reasons to support their implementation "(Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 21 ). We need to examine ourselves more deeply on the ultimate destination of life, capable of restoring dignity and meaning to the mystery of its deepest and most sacred affections. The life of man, so beautiful it enchants and fragile that it dies, refers beyond itself: we are infinitely more than what we can do for ourselves. But man's life is also incredibly tenacious, certainly by a mysterious grace that comes from above, in the audacity of his invocation of a justice and a definitive victory of love. And it is even capable - hope against all hope - to sacrifice itself for it, to the end ".