03/03/2016, 18.38
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Pope: defend life from commodification and "ideological colonisations"

In a meeting with the members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Francis said that there is a lot of scientific knowledge and many technical tools that can provide support to human life. Likewise, there are many institutions "engaged in service to life". However, he warned that "there also are many structures that are more concerned with economic interests than the common good” because they are “afraid of reality as God created it.”

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis spoke this morning to the participants of the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life, which is meeting to discuss the virtues in the ethics of life.

In his address, the pontiff said that in today's world there is a lot of scientific knowledge and many technical tools that can provide support to human life. Similarly, there are many institutions "engaged in service to life." Yet, "there are also many structures that are more concerned with economic interests than the common good”. At the same time, in the name of modernity, “ideological colonisations" are reducing “ideological freedom” because they are “afraid of reality as God created it.

"In our time,” said the Holy Father, “some cultural orientations no longer recognise the imprint of divine wisdom in created reality and even humans. Human nature is thus reduced to mere matter, malleable according to any design. Our humanity, however, is unique and very precious in God's eyes! For this reason, the first nature to preserve, so that it may bear fruit, is our own humanity. We must give freedom clean air and the life-giving water of truth, protecting it from the poisons of selfishness and lies. In terms of our humanity, a great variety of virtues will then be able to blossom."

"The situation cannot change because of theories or social or political reforms. Only the work of the Holy Spirit can reform our hearts if we work together." Speaking about virtue "is not a cosmetic issue, about outer beautification." Instead, "it is about eradicating dishonest desires from the heart and seek what is good with sincerity. Even within the context of the ethics of life, necessary rules that entail respect for people are not enough to realise fully what is good for human beings. The virtues of those who work to promote of life are the ultimate guarantee that what is good will be truly respected. [. . .] Good deeds are not the correct application of ethical knowledge, but require a real interest in people who are fragile. Medical doctors and all health care providers should never neglect to reconcile science, technology and humanity."

"Therefore, I encourage universities to consider all this in their training programmes, so that students can develop those dispositions of the heart and mind that are necessary to accommodate and care for human life, in accordance with the dignity that belongs to it in all circumstances. I also urge all the directors of health and research facilities to ensure that their employees consider including a human touch as an integral part of their professional service. In any case, those who dedicate themselves to the defence and promotion of life should first show its beauty. In fact, since "It is not by proselytizing that the Church grows, but “by attraction”" (Apost. Exhort. Evangelii Gaudium, 14), human life is thus defended and promoted effectively only when we know its beauty and promote it. By experiencing genuine compassion and other virtues, you will be privileged witnesses to the mercy of the Father of life. "

"Contemporary culture still holds premises that assert that human beings, whatever their living conditions, are a value to be protected. However, it is often the victim of moral uncertainty, which does not allow it to defend life effectively. Not infrequently, it is also possible for 'splendid vices' to hide in the name of virtue. For this reason, it is necessary not only that virtues truly inform human thoughts and actions, but they be nurtured through continuous discernment and be rooted in God, the source of all virtue.” Thus, “Let us ask the Holy Spirit for help to draws us out of selfishness and ignorance. Renewed by Him, we can think and act in accordance with God's heart and show his mercy to those who suffer in body and spirit. The wish I address to you is that the sessions may be fruitful and accompany you and all those whom you will meet in your service on the path of virtuous growth.”

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