VATICAN CITY, JAN. 14, 2001 (ZENIT.org) .-
The Pope´s greatest concern, at the beginning of the new millennium, is that man has become an object that can be bought, sold or manipulated.
John Paul II stressed this point Saturday, when he met with diplomats accredited to the Vatican, on the occasion of the traditional New Year´s audience.
“When we think of the century just ended, one thing is clear,” the Pope said. “History will judge it to be the century that saw the greatest conquests of science and technology, but also as the time when human life was despised in the cruelest ways.”
The Holy Father was referring especially “to the murderous wars that burgeoned in Europe, and to the forms of totalitarianism that enslaved millions of men and women, but I am also referring to laws that legalized abortion and euthanasia, and to cultural models that have spread the idea of consumption and pleasure at any price.”
“If people upset the balance of creation, forgetting that they are responsible for their brothers and sisters, and do not care for the environment that the Creator has placed in their hands, then a world determined by our designs alone could well become unlivable,” the Pontiff warned.
However, “what do we have more deeply in common than our human nature?” the Pope asked.
“Yes, at the dawn of this millennium, let us save man!” he exhorted. “Let us together, all of us, save humanity! It is up to the leaders of societies to safeguard the human race, ensuring that science is at the service of the human person, that people are never objects to be manipulated or to be bought and sold, that laws are never determined by commercial interests or by the selfish claims of minority groups.”
“Every age of human history has seen humanity tempted to inhabit a self-enclosed world in an attitude of self-sufficiency, domination, power and pride,” the Holy Father concluded. “However, in our own time, this danger has become still greater in man´s heart, as people believe that through the efforts of science they can become the masters of nature and history.”