Spiritual needs must be part of solution to global crisis, says pope
By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Solutions to the world's numerous crises must include strategies to meet people's human and spiritual needs and not focus just on providing material support, Pope Benedict XVI said.
An overemphasis on technology or giving in to a sort of "supremacy of technology, which finds its highest expression in some practices opposed to life, could in fact spell out disturbing scenarios for the future of humanity," he said before reciting the Angelus July 12 with visitors in St. Peter's Square.
"The solutions to the current problems of humanity cannot be merely technical, but must take into account all the needs of the person who is endowed with a soul and body," he said in remarks concerning the Group of Eight summit in L'Aquila, Italy, which wrapped up July 10.
Heads of governments from the world's major industrialized nations met in L'Aquila to discuss problems that are "dramatically urgent," the pope said.
"The social inequalities and structural injustices in the world are no longer tolerable (and they) call not only for appropriate, immediate action, but also for a coordinated strategy in order to find lasting global solutions," he said.
The pope highlighted some of the themes in his social encyclical, "Caritas in Veritate" ("Charity in Truth"), such as how modern biotechnology increasingly places life under human control.
Medical and other technological interventions that "don't respect the true dignity of the person, even when they seem to be driven by 'a loving decision,' are in reality fruit of a 'materialistic and mechanistic understanding of human life' that reduces love without truth to 'an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way and therefore could lead to negative effects on integral human development,'" he said quoting from his recent encyclical.
Despite the complexity of today's problems, the church looks to the future with hope, the pope said, and reminds Christians that "the proclamation of Christ is the first and principal factor of development," he said.