Catholic World News

Study global issues, Pope urges Pontifical Academy for Life

January 15, 2019

Pope Francis stressed care for the global environment in a message to the Pontifical Academy for Life, which is marking its 25th anniversary.

The Pope warned of a “state of emergency existing in our relationship with the history of the earth and its people.” In a lengthy message he emphasized concerns about the environment, globalization, consumerism, and technology. Contemporary society, he argued, gives short shrift to the needs of individuals and the demands of community; he spoke of “the difficulties involved in restoring this broader humanistic horizon, even within the Church.”

The papal message encouraged the Pontifical Academy for Life to engage society in a broad discussion of new technologies and human needs. He wrote: “The kind of medicine, economy, technology, and politics that develop within the modern city of man must also, above all, remain subject to the judgment rendered by the peripheries of the earth.”

The Pontifical Academy for Life has been a subject of considerable controversy under the leadership of Pope Francis, who has appointed new officials and an entirely new group of members to the Academy, and urged the group—which had previously focused on abortion, euthanasia, and related issues—to study broad economic and social trends. The Academy is meeting this week to discuss the topic of “Roboethics.”

At a Vatican press conference introducing the papal message, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, confirmed the shift in the group’s focus. He remarked that “humanity is faced with a new and far more profound problem concerning the human family.” He explained that “the focus of creation as a ‘common home’ has entered within the boundaries that decide the future of the planet.”


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  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Jan. 16, 2019 10:40 AM ET USA

    Evil consequences will follow. Losing a voice for the God given essentials of life, in favor of pretensions is unsettling. It suggests indirectly that we can make our own rules of behavior with a little more knowledge. Filling the Earth, a mandate from the Beginning, a Divine mandate, becomes subject to comfort and human concepts of global order. If we can’t get past the problem of murdering children, what competence do we have to move on to more grandiose ideas?