disabilities at the Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter's Square on
May 27, 2015. Credit Daniel Ibanez/ CNA
A civilization whose technological advancements do not seek to protect
the most vulnerable, from conception until natural death, fails to live
up to its responsibility, Pope Francis said.
In remarks made during an audience at the Vatican with members of the
Italian Associazione Scienza & Vita (Science and Life Association),
the pontiff decried victims of abortion and euthanasia, migrants left to
die on the sea, and other travesties.
Progress in civilization is not measured by its advancements in
technology, but “its capacity to protect life, especially during the
most fragile stages,” he said.
“The scourge of abortion is an attack against life. Leaving our
brothers on boats to die in the Sicilian channel is an attack against
life. Death in the workplace, because the minimum safety conditions are
not followed, is an attack against life. Death from malnutrition is an
attack against life. Terrorism, war, violence; but also euthanasia are
attacks against life.”
The Pope’s remarks come one day after nearly 750 migrants were rescued
off the coast of Sicily, according to the Italian coast guard. Around
1,800 people have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean over the
last five months, with some 60,000 having attempted the journey, the
United Nations estimates.
Pope Francis also encouraged those present at the audience to engage with the scientific community.
“Do not be afraid of embarking on a fruitful dialogue with the world of
science, even with those who, while not believers, remain open to the
mystery of human life,” he said.
Life, Pope Francis said, “originates and accompanies all scientific
progress; it is the miracle of life which always undermines some sort of
scientific presumption, giving primacy to wonder and beauty.”
He told them not to lose sight of the “sacredness of every human
person, in order that science may truly be at the service of man,” and
not the other way around.
Science and Life Association, which is comprised of professionals in
fields such as science, culture, and politics, met with the Pope in the
Vatican on Saturday to mark the 10th anniversary of their founding.
Science has the ability to analyze specific details, Pope Francis said,
which insures that “a just society recognizes the right to life from
conception to natural death as paramount.”
“The protection and promotion of life represents a fundamental task,
especially in a society marked by the negative logic of waste.”
The pontiff observed that protecting the person involves encountering
and sustaining those in need of protection, a responsibility which
extends “from the center toward the peripheries.”
“At the center, there is Christ,” the Pope said, and it is from “this
centrality that you are directed toward the various conditions of human
“The love of Christ pushes us to make ourselves servants of the little
and the elderly, of every man and every woman, for whom the primordial
right to live should be recognized and protected.”
“Therefore Christ, who is the light of man and the world, illuminates
the way in order that science may always be knowledge in service of
This recognition of life’s value, however, obligates us to consider how we make use of it, Pope Francis said.
“Life is above all a gift,” he said, and this creates hope and a
future, so long as it is “enlivened” by familial and social
relationships, which in turn “open new perspectives.”
“Loving life means to take care of the other, to love him, to cultivate and respect his transcendent dignity.”