(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said on Thursday that some organisations at the service of human life “are more interested in the economic side than working for the common good." He also warned that human nature nowadays is increasingly reduced to a malleable material that can be molded to any design and said the first thing to safeguard is our own humanity. His comments came in an address to participants at the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life.
Participants at the Assembly are discussing the theme of virtue in the ethics of life and in his address to the gathering, Pope Francis stressed the need to welcome and care for human life in all circumstances. At the same time, he said, we must protect our humanity from the poison of selfishness and lies and warned that when it comes to defending human life, it’s not uncommon that so-called “splendid vices” are “masquerading under the name of virtues.”
The Pope explained that whilst there are many institutions working in the service of human life there are also many others that are more interested in the economic side than in striving for the common good.
Departing from his prepared text and speaking off the cuff, the Pope reiterated his frequent warning against ideological colonizations, saying these insinuate themselves into the minds of humans under the form of virtues, modernity and new attitudes. However, in reality, he said, they are taking away our ideological freedom and are afraid of the reality as created by God.
When it comes to virtues, he went on,” it’s not a ‘cosmetic’ question or a beautiful facade” but instead it’s about rooting out dishonest desires from our hearts and of seeking good with sincerity.
In the field of ethnics about life, said the Pope, the norms that sanction respect for human beings, are not enough on their own to fully achieve the wellbeing of the human person. Instead, he said, it’s the virtues of those who work to promote human life that provide the ultimate guarantee that good will be truly respected.
Nowadays, Pope Francis noted, there is no lack of scientific knowledge and technical expertise that can offer support to human life in those situations where it is weak. However, “sometimes humanity is lacking in these situations.” Doing good, the Pope stressed, “is not the correct application of ethical knowledge but instead “presupposes a real concern for the fragile human being.” In this context, he warned that “doctors and all health workers must never abandon a blending of science, technical expertise and humanity” in their work.
In conclusion, Pope Francis reminded his listeners that when it comes to defending and promoting human life, this can be done more effectively only if we are aware of and show the beauty of that life. “By displaying a genuine compassion and the other virtues, you will be precious witnesses of the mercy of the God of life," he said.