Catholics Confront Global Poverty

Pope: Solutions to Human Problems Cannot Be Merely Technical

From (Vatican Information Services)

Benedict XVI dedicated his remarks prior to the recital of the Angelus at midday today to the recent G8 summit meeting, held in the Italian city of L’Aquila “so harshly tried by the earthquake”, and to the publication of his third Encyclical “Caritas in veritate”.

The Pope recalled how some of the themes on the G8 agenda were “dramatically urgent” because “there are social inequalities and structural injustices in the world that can no longer be tolerated and which require, apart from immediate interventions, a co-ordinated strategy to seek lasting global solutions.

“During the summit meeting the G8 heads of State and government reiterated the necessary of reaching shared agreements in order to ensure a better future for humankind”, he added. “The Church has no technical solutions to offer but, expert in humanity, she offers everyone Sacred Scripture’s teaching of the truth about man, and announces the Gospel of love and of justice”.

In this context the Holy Father referred to his own recent Encyclical, published shortly before the G8 meeting, in which he speaks of the need for “a new economic project to redesign development in global terms, based on the ethical foundation of responsibility before God and on the human being as creature of God”.

“The great Pontiff Paul VI, in his ‘Populorum progressio’ had already recognised and identified the worldwide reach of the social question. Following the same path, I too felt the need to dedicate ‘Caritas in veritate’ to this topic, which in our time has become ‘a radically anthropological question’ in that it implicates the way life itself is conceived, something that biotechnology places increasingly under man’s control”.

Pope Benedict went on: “The solutions to the current problems of humanity cannot be merely technical, they must take account of all the needs of the person, who has a soul and a body; thus they must take account of the Creator, God. The absolute supremacy of technology, which finds its greatest expression in certain practices that run counter to life, could lead to a grim future for humankind. Acts that do not respect the true dignity of the person, even when they seem to be motivated by a ‘choice of love’, are in fact the fruit of ‘a materialistic and mechanistic understanding of human life’ which reduces love without truth to ‘an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way'”.

Yet, the Holy Father concluded, “however complex the current situation of the world may be, the Church looks to future with hope and reminds Christians that ‘announcing Christ is the first and principal factor of development'”.

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