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To defend life, defend virtue, Pope tells Pontifical Academy

March 03, 2016

Speaking on March 3 to members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, which is holding its general assembly this week, Pope Francis said that “human life is defended and promoted most effectively only when its beauty is known and shown.”

The Pope devoted most of his address to the subject of virtues: the topic for the Pontifical Academy’s discussions this week. The choice of that theme, he said, indicates the understanding that “the good that man does is not the result of calculations or strategies, or even the product of genetic programming or social conditioning, but is rather the fruit of a well-disposed heart and of the free choice that tends to true goodness.”

The Pontiff continued:

"In our time, some cultural orientations no longer acknowledge the imprint of divine wisdom either in the realities created, or those of man. Human nature is thus reduced to mere matter, that may be molded according to any design. Our humanity, however, is unique and so precious in God's eyes. For this reason, the first nature to protect, so that it may bear fruit, is our human nature itself.

Pope Francis warned against systems of thought that are guided by economic interests rather than concern for the common good. He also spoke of the “ideological colonizations,” and the “moral uncertainties that do no allow life to be defended in an effective way.” At times, he said, “splendid vices are disguised under the mask of virtue.”


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